Obama Hails Passage of Improved Post-9/11 GI Bill

WASHINGTON — Pres­i­dent Barack Oba­ma said he’s pleased that the House today joined the Sen­ate in pass­ing a bill that expands and improves the Post-9/11 GI Bill that took effect last year, White House Press Sec­re­tary Robert Gibbs said today.

The House vot­ed an over­whelm­ing 409 to 3 in sup­port of the leg­is­la­tion, which sim­pli­fies and improves edu­ca­tion­al ben­e­fits for vet­er­ans who have served since Sept. 11, 2001.

Among its new mea­sures, it:

  • Enables vet­er­ans to use their ben­e­fit for voca­tion­al and on-the-job train­ing and dis­tance learn­ing pro­grams;
  • Expands eli­gi­bil­i­ty for the ben­e­fit to Nation­al Guards­men acti­vat­ed for domes­tic assis­tance;
  • Pro­vides active-duty troops addi­tion­al assis­tance to pur­chase books; Extends the time severe­ly injured vet­er­ans and their care­givers have to use their ben­e­fits; and

— Stream­lines the appli­ca­tion and ben­e­fits award process­es.

Oba­ma is expect­ed to sign the bill into law by the year’s end. It would take effect in August.

Gibbs not­ed that these sim­pli­fi­ca­tions and improved ben­e­fits will be pro­vid­ed in a “fis­cal­ly respon­si­ble way,” and said the admin­is­tra­tion will work with Con­gress to con­tin­ue improv­ing this impor­tant pro­gram.

“The pres­i­dent strong­ly believes that our nation has a sacred trust with our vet­er­ans, and this act will help those who have served their coun­try,” he said.

Vet­er­ans orga­ni­za­tions laud­ed today’s House vote, not­ing that it bet­ter serves those who have served in the armed forces after Sept. 11, 2001.

“This is great news,” said Jim­mie L. Fos­ter, nation­al com­man­der of The Amer­i­can Legion. “This bill rec­ti­fies the inequities and short­com­ings of the well-inten­tioned but incom­plete Post-9/11 G.I. Bill and makes it whole.”

U.S. Depart­ment of Defense
Office of the Assis­tant Sec­re­tary of Defense (Pub­lic Affairs)

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