Draft Bill to Impose Fee on Future GI Bill Benefits
New military members could see a monthly salary deduction to pay into the GI Bill to receive future education benefits, according to Military Times. Draft legislation from U.S. House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Phil Roe (R-TN) would amend the Post-9/11 GI Bill program to automatically deduct up to $100 a month from the basic pay of new recruits during their first two years of service.
The monthly deduction is expected to raise $3 billion in the first 10 years, according to unofficial projections from the committee, while total GI Bill spending is expected to reach more than $100 billion over the same decade.
Supporters of the plan say having service members "buy in" to the benefit would strengthen it against periodic attempts by budget planners to trim veterans education benefits, the Times reported. Chairman Roe said the draft legislation will "preserve GI Bill benefits for generations to come."
Critics, however, argue that the proposal amounts to a tax on service members for benefits they are already due.
The House committee will review the proposed bill, along with 17 other veterans-related measures, at a hearing planned for April 26.
Among the bills the committee will consider are:
- H.R. 2103, which would help children and spouses cover education costs if assistance runs out.
- H.R. 2100, which would provide work-study allowance for veterans.
- H.R. 1216, which would restore GI Bill funding for veterans who used their benefits on the now-shuttered ITT Technical Institute for-profit schools.
- H.R. 1112, which would authorize unused benefits to be transferred to additional dependents upon the death of the primary dependent.
- A draft bill that would expand eligibility for the GI Bill program and simplify categories under the program.
- A draft bill that would provide an extra nine months of GI benefits for members pursuing degrees in a STEM field.
The Military Times