Tester Statement Following Meeting with VA Head of G.I. Bill Implementation

Senator Looks Forward to Promised VA Plan to Repay Student Veterans

(U.S. Senate) – Ranking Member Jon Tester today released the following statement after meeting with VA Under Secretary for Benefits Paul Lawrence:

“I am encouraged that the VA is taking steps to fully identify and address the impacts of late or incorrect G.I. Bill payments for student veterans. Under Secretary Lawrence assured me this morning that the VA will take the necessary steps to ensure these student veterans ultimately receive every penny to which they are entitled and that efforts on behalf of these veterans will not impact the Department’s ability to deliver timely benefits for other veterans.  Further, he committed to providing Congress with a detailed plan later this month for how it will carry out these efforts.  The Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee stands ready to provide the VA with any resources and authorities it needs to make things right with our nation’s student veterans.  And on behalf of them and their families, we will hold the VA accountable for its commitments to them, and for its commitments to us.”

Tester’s meeting with Lawrence and Chairman Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.) follows VA Secretary Robert Wilkie’s announcement that the VA is starting from scratch on implementing a certain provision in the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act due to delayed benefit payments to student veterans.