Saturday, May 14, 2016

Without Warning Senate Votes To Cut Veterans Education Benefits

Vets Group Criticizes Senate Panel Vote to Curb GI Bill Housing Aid
Military.com
by Brendan McGarry
May 13, 2016

"In a normal process, they would have published a schedule and in two or three weeks time, we're having a hearing to mark up this particular bill,'" Jonathan Schleifer, the organization's chief policy officer, said on Friday during a telephone interview with Military.com.

"This was done certainly without any notice or warning."
A veterans group is criticizing a key Senate veterans committee for voting to curb the GI Bill housing allowance.

The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America on Thursday issued a statement blasting the Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee after members approved omnibus legislation that would reduce by 5 percent the Post-9/11 GI Bill housing allowance to pay for other veterans programs.

"As Congress quietly passed another bill cutting veterans education benefits, veterans are stuck having to beg for the benefits we earned," IAVA Chief of Staff Allison Jaslow said in a statement. "We fought hard eight years ago to get the Post-9/11 GI Bill passed and we will not quit fighting until Congress protects the benefits being earned on the battlefield as we speak."

The Senate committee, headed by Sen. Johnny Isakson, a Republican from Georgia, during a hastily convened session on Thursday afternoon unanimously voted in favor of the legislation, known as the Veterans First Act.

The circumstances surrounding the vote also drew criticism from IAVA officials.
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