Last week, the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee held a hearing entitled "Success After Service: Improving Veterans' Employment, Education, and Home Loan Opportunities," which touched on a number of issues related to veterans education benefits. Witnesses called on committee members to address concerns with legislation passed earlier this year that made sweeping changes to the administration and oversight of GI Bill benefits.
The Johnny Isakson and David P. Roe, M.D. Veterans Health Care and Benefits Improvement (Isakson Roe) Act and the Training in High-demand Roles to Improve Veteran Employment Act (THRIVE Act), which were enacted earlier this year and effective August 1, provide important protections for student veterans to help ensure that they can use their GI Bill benefits to complete a quality postsecondary education. However, certain provisions included in the legislation could create unintended consequences for veterans and institutions.
Ahead of the hearing, AACRAO and other higher education groups, sent a letter to both the House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, urging lawmakers to quickly pass legislation that makes technical corrections to the Isakson Roe/THRIVE Acts to address those concerning provisions, extends COVID-19 flexibilities for student veterans, and fixes the rounding out rule.
House lawmakers recently introduced two bills that accomplish these goals. The groups reiterated their strong support of the Student Veteran COVID-19 Protection Act, H.R. 5509, and the Responsible Education Mitigating Options and Technical Extensions (REMOTE) Act, H.R. 5545.
"This package of fixes and extensions is desperately needed to protect veteran's education benefits from disruption and to help colleges and universities better serve veterans on campus," the letter states.
For more information on this topic, join AACRAO Board members and staff on Wednesday, November 10 at 2 p.m. ET for a coffee break discussing the implementation of the Isakson Roe and THRIVE Acts, as well as the more recent legislative proposals to make technical corrections to those bills.
U.S. Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Hearing
Letter to House and Senate Veterans Affairs Committees on Technical Corrections to Veterans Benefits Laws