The House Veterans' Affairs Economic Opportunity Subcommittee held an oversight hearing on Tuesday with the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to examine the implementation of the Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe, M.D. Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement (Isakson Roe) Act, H.R. 7105.
The Isakson Roe Act, enacted in January 2021 and set to take effect on August 1, is a sweeping package of veteran-related legislation that includes a modified version of the Protect the GI Bill Act, H.R. 4625. Overall, the measure provides important protections for student veterans to help ensure that they can use their GI Bill benefits to complete a quality postsecondary education. However, the legislation contains several provisions that could create unintended consequences for veterans and institutions.
Ahead of the hearing, AACRAO joined 10 other higher education associations in a letter to the House Veterans' Affairs Committee outlining key concerns, requesting greater clarity regarding the VA's implementation plans, and advocating for technical changes to the legislation. In particular, the letter highlights issues related to bill language requiring institutions to submit dual certification for verification of enrollment, provide estimates of costs and aid for the entire duration of the student's program, and establish eligibility under Title IV of the Higher Education Act (HEA) in order to participate in the GI Bill program.
This week's letter is part of a year-long advocacy campaign by the higher education community to voice concerns about the problematic provisions included in Protect the GI Bill Act and ultimately the Isakson Roe package.
U.S. House Veterans' Affairs Economic Opportunity Subcommittee Hearing
Letter to the House Veterans' Affairs Committee regarding the Isakson Roe Act