Congressional Record Statement by Senator Daniel K. Akaka
Mr. President, the junior Senator from Virginia and I have worked together closely on his proposal for a new GI Bill since he introduced it in January 2007. I was delighted to be able to join him as a cosponsor of S. 22. I deeply appreciate his very strong - and very personal - commitment to it.
Now it is time to give those young servicemembers who are stepping forward voluntarily - putting themselves in harm's way - an opportunity for quality educational assistance. We must make good on our promise of an education in return for serving honorably in our military.
Mr. President, the time has come for a new GI Bill for the 21st Century. I believe that it should be promptly signed into law.
Sadly, despite the fact that it has passed this body by a veto-proof majority, President Bush, who sent our troops into war and is again requesting billions of dollars to pay for it, has threatened to veto this measure.
Today, I extend my personal pledge to Senator Webb and all who support a revitalized GI Bill. If bill is vetoed and Congress fails to override the veto, I will bring Senator Webb's New GI Bill before the Veterans' Affairs Committee during our markup next month and urge that the Committee favorably report it to the Senate. It is time to give those young servicemembers, stepping forward voluntarily and putting themselves in harm's way, an opportunity for quality educational assistance. We must make good on our promise of an education in return for serving honorably in our military. I am committed to seeing this legislation become law.
May 22, 2008