Rep. Zeldin Announces House Passage of the Bipartisan Harry W. Colmery Veterans Education Assistance Act
Long Island, NY - July 27, 2017 - Congressman Lee Zeldin (R, NY-1) announced that the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Education Assistance Act (H.R. 3218) passed the House of Representatives on Monday in a unanimous bipartisan vote. H.R. 3218 would improve and extend benefits given to veterans, their surviving spouses, and dependents through the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944, or the GI Bill. The GI Bill has helped millions of veterans and their families pursue college, vocational opportunities, and other forms of higher education.
H.R. 3218 removes time restrictions and allows future eligible recipients to use the benefits for their entire lives. Currently, there is a 15-year timeline for these benefits. This bill will also provide 100% GI Bill eligibility to Post 9/11 Purple Heart recipients, restore eligibility for veterans whose school closes in the middle of the semester, and create a pilot program to allow servicemembers to take specific high technology courses. In addition, H.R. 3218 would reduce the Department of Veterans’ Affairs’ (VA) administrative costs by consolidating the GI Bill into one program over time.
Congressman Zeldin said, “Supporting our veterans and their families, who have sacrificed so much to protect us, must always remain one of our top priorities as a nation. The Harry W. Colmery Veterans Education Assistance Act will allow our veterans, as well as their surviving spouses and dependents, to better access the GI Bill benefits which they have earned. After leaving the service, many of our veterans choose to pursue education. It is imperative that these heroes have every opportunity to pursue those career opportunities following military service, and this legislation makes the necessary reforms to better allow this to happen. Additionally, these valuable benefits are often transferred to the family members of our veterans. We must always remember that the cost of liberty is not only paid out by our veterans, but their families as well. In a 21st century economy, higher education is becoming more and more of a necessity. The GI Bill has been helping veterans for over 70 years; H.R. 3218 will improve upon this excellent cause and allow our servicemembers and their families to better prepare for the future.”