Ahead of Vote, IAVA Calls on House to Reinstate April 1st Inclusion Date for Grandfather Clause

Update: We're hearing that HVAC will vote on the New GI Bill fix tonight - stay tuned for updates! In the interim, keep calling and emailing to urge Chairman Miller to amend H.R. 1383.

IAVA has learned that on Monday afternoon the House will vote on the Restoring GI Bill Fairness Act of 2011 [H.R. 1383], also known as the “grandfather clause,” as amended by Senate Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Patty Murray. The bill version to be voted on, however, lists an inclusion date of January 4th, 2011, which would exclude all veterans who started school in the spring 2011 semester. Additionally, out-of-state student-veterans attending public institutions and veterans enrolled in high-fee programs would also be excluded.

IAVA believes this is an unacceptable, arbitrary exclusion of deserving veterans. We have publicly opposed the January 4th inclusion date on many occasions because no veteran with a legitimate claim to his or her GI Bill benefits should be left behind. Although January 4th, 2011 was the date that New GI Bill 2.0 was signed into law, it should not qualify as a drop-dead date for the “grandfather clause.” The 10 days from January 4th, 2011 to the beginning of the spring semester was not sufficient time for student veterans to learn about the legislation and adjust their academic plans accordingly. Instead, the April 1st, 2011 inclusion date put forward by House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller is much more sensible and fair.

IAVA opposes passage of the "grandfather clause" in amended form, and we urgently ask the House to right this wrong by reinstating Chairman Miller’s original April 1st inclusion date for covered individuals. Hundreds of deserving veterans nationwide depend on the House to take immediate action so they can complete their college degrees and avoid financial distress when New GI Bill 2.0 goes into effect next Monday, August 1st.

Are you a veteran who might be impacted by this development? Contact IAVA at Membership@iava.org and stay tuned for breaking updates by following IAVA on Facebook or Twitter at @NewGIBill.