WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI), Chairman of the Veterans' Affairs Committee, expressed his gratification that the Senate passed a new "GI Bill for the 21st Century," and urged President George W. Bush to sign it into law. This new veterans' higher-education benefit, also known as the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act, was included in H.R. 2642, the Supplemental Appropriations Bill.
"After months of negotiation between Democrats and Republicans, the House and the Senate, and Congress and the White House, we are sending a modernized and enhanced GI Bill for the 21st Century to the President for his signature. I am thrilled to have played a part in this important endeavor and I commend all those who worked for its passage, especially Senator Jim Webb (D-VA), and I urge President Bush to sign it into law.
"Though the final-passage of this new GI Bill, we say to our newest generation of citizen soldiers: thank you. We also recognize that the ability of our Armed Forces to attract and retain quality personnel in the future - and consequently our national security - depends on how we meet the needs of those serving today."
To view Chairman Akaka's floor statement on final passage of the GI Bill, click here: link
H.R. 2642 now awaits President George W. Bush's signature or veto.