WASHINGTON, D.C. – At a hearing held today on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee Chairman Daniel K. Akaka (D-Hawaii) brought together a diverse panel that included a veteran attending college on the Post-9/11 GI Bill, officials from entities responsible for implementing the program on a state and university level, and officials from the Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense. Today’s hearing reflected two common views on the new benefit program: strong support for the program along with confusion about how the program works, who is responsible for what, and why implementation remains challenging.
Senator Akaka announced his intention to introduce legislation before Memorial Day to enhance and improve the new higher education program.
“The Post-9/11 GI Bill can be improved, and it is time to begin that work. It is imperative that we begin to move forward in a considered, deliberate and comprehensive fashion. I look forward to collaborating with my colleagues, the Administration, and veterans and their advocates to develop a bill that will improve this important benefit,” said Akaka, who attended college on the original GI Bill after World War II.
Chairman Akaka cosponsored the Post-9/11 GI Bill, introduced by Senator Jim Webb (D-Virginia) and passed into law as part of the 2008 Emergency War Supplemental (now Public Law 110-252). The Post-9/11 GI Bill provides financial support for education and housing to honorably discharged individuals with at least 90 days of aggregate service, or 30 days for those discharged with a service-connected disability, on or after September 11, 2001.
For more information on the hearing, witness testimony, and webcast, please visit the Committee’s website here: LINK
April 21, 2010