WASHINGTON, Dec. 16, 2010 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Speaker Nancy Pelosi issued the following statement today after the House passed the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act to strengthen the New GI Bill for the 21st Century. This package makes it easier for veterans to take advantage of New GI Bill benefits, helps veterans successfully enter the civilian workforce, and extends educational benefits to members of the National Guard and veterans who use distance education.
This legislation is supported by a range of veterans' organizations, including the American Legion, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Disabled American Veterans, Military Officers Association of America, National Guard Association, National Association of Uniformed Services, and Student Veterans of America. The bill, which the Senate passed earlier this week, was passed today by the House by a vote of 409 to 3 and now goes to President Obama for his signature into law:
"Educating our nation's veterans is an investment in our troops, our economy, and our future; it is also a cost of war. That's why the New Direction Congress passed the Post-9/11 GI Bill, restoring the promise of a full, four-year scholarship for those who have fought – and continue to fight – in Iraq and Afghanistan. Already, 300,000 veterans and their families have pursued a degree through this initiative. It is a critical component in honoring their courageous service and sacrifice.
"Today, the House acted to update, improve, and strengthen that landmark achievement. In passing the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Improvements Act, we are extending educational benefits to National Guardsmen and to veterans taking advantage of online education and distance learning. We are expanding opportunities for job training and vocational education, arming our troops with the tools to contribute as workers and entrepreneurs, and taking another step to strengthen our economy. And we are doing so in a fiscally responsible way, saving taxpayers hundreds of millions of dollars.
"Our action today fulfills the solemn promise we have made, and kept, to our men and women in uniform: just as the military leaves no one behind on the battlefield, we will leave no veteran behind when they come home. I applaud all of my colleagues for helping us uphold that pledge once again and enacting this critical measure for our service members and their families."
SOURCE Office of the Speaker of the House