WASHINGTON, D.C. - U.S. Senator Daniel K. Akaka (D-HI), Chairman of the Veterans' Affairs Committee, announced today that, after working with Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) to address some substantive concerns with the original language of his bill relating to implementation, Akaka is pleased to be added as a cosponsor of Webb's "21st Century GI Bill" (S. 22). Chairman Akaka attended college on the original World War II GI Bill.
"I strongly support Sen. Webb's efforts to make sure our fighting men and women receive quality educational benefits," Akaka said. "I am pleased that my administrative concerns have been addressed and I am proud to add my name as a cosponsor of this important bill as revised.
"Senator Webb and I worked closely this week to develop an approach which I believe closely resembles what I would have advocated for in the Committee on Veterans' Affairs, taking into consideration implementation logistics and the impact on our all-volunteer military," Akaka said.
"I am pleased that Chairman Akaka has signed on as a co-sponsor of S.22. Many in the Senate follow Senator Akaka's lead on veterans' issues, and his support adds a great deal," said Senator Webb. "Senator Akaka has always supported the concept of this legislation and I'm pleased that we have been able to address the administrative concerns that the Chairman had expressed."
"I hope that we can now move expeditiously to get this vital piece of legislation passed this year for our returning Iraq and Afghanistan service members," continued Webb. "This educational benefit reflects the desire of all of us to serve as proper stewards to those who have done so much since 9/11. These men and women have earned this benefit and deserve it to help readjust to civilian life after their active duty service."
S. 22 would provide increased educational benefits for all members of the military who served at least three months in active duty beginning or after September 11, 2001. Educational benefits would be linked to the amount of active duty served in the military after 9/11.
The changes in the most recent version of S.22 include:
April 10, 2008