News just now received greatly affects all future veterans by updating the GI Bill 2.0.
Stars and Stripes” reported:
The House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs gave veterans groups a draft last week of legislation that would deduct $100 from servicemembers’ basic pay each month for two years, for a total of $2,400, in order for them to receive education benefits. The Post-9/11 GI Bill created in 2009 doesn’t require servicemembers to pay into it, but an earlier version of the benefit – the Montgomery GI Bill – mandated recipients to pay $100 per month for one year.
A draft of the legislation states the buy-in provision would go into effect one year after the bill is enacted and would apply to servicemembers who enlist on or after that date.
Comments from veterans service organizations almost immediately condemned the idea.
Paul Rieckhoff, Founder and CEO of Iraq and Afghanistan (IAVA), said:
“There is plenty of room to improve the Post-9/11 GI Bill. IAVA led the creation of the original Post-9/11 GI Bill and later, GI Bill 2.0.
”However, IAVA will vigorously oppose any and all attempts to impose a registration tax on this essential benefit. If Congress wants to find ways to raise more money, they can do it without nickel and diming newly-enlisted Privates. Pushing this GI Bill tax proposal on troops in a time of war is political cowardice. It’s also bad for recruiting and morale.”
And Rieckhoff said on his Facebook page: “Yep. Just when you thought things in DC couldn’t get any stupider! #IAVA will again fight like hell to #DefendTheGIBill.”
But Rieckhoff also noted that IAVA has their own comprehensive list of recommendations for improving veterans lives. The recommendations are an 88-page document entitled Policy Agenda: Fulfill The Promise To Today’s Veterans. It’s quite impressive.
Kayla Keleher, a legislative associate for the Veterans of Foreign Wars said,
The Post-9/11 GI Bill was implemented as a high-five, a wartime benefit. It was a ‘Thanks for taking the oath of enlistment while at wartime.” The VFW… will not stand idly by as Congress continues adding on mandatory pay-in requirements of our troops, let alone while we are still at war.”
It should be noted that this is not a bill and no representative has stepped up to the plate to sponsor the present draft.
Most may not know that the current pay for an E-1 private is about $1600 a month. Their contribution of $100 is about 6.25%.
Here’s an idea for those in favor of the proposed changes: instead of $100 per month, start at $50 a month and raise it by $25 for the next two promotions such that by the time a soldier is an E-3 ($1886); $100 is then only 5.3% of their pay.
Otherwise, Congress needs to find another way to fund future benefits given to us veterans through the GI Bill.
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