Representative Steve Buyer on the New GI Bill Changes

| December 28, 2010

I missed this this when I was writing my first post:

“All Americans know that the month of December is already a strain on their pocketbook and to have your paycheck cut would be devastating to anyone. This provision is nothing but a lump of coal for veterans.”

On Vet groups supporting the bill:

“Are your representatives in Washington really standing up for you when they endorse a bill that cuts your living stipend during the holidays? Are they really representing your views when they endorse legislation that cuts tuition payments for some veterans by thousands of dollars a year?”

Overall, I still think these changes are a raw deal for most veterans. The  support for this bill from the American Legion and VFW is also extremely disappointing to me.

Finally I think this bill is proof-positive of Jonn’s contention that the budget will be balanced on the backs of veterans.

Category: Veterans in politics, Veterans Issues

Comments (7)

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  1. 2549 says:

    Steve Buyer is an opportunist and a politician. I repeat myself, there. We’re all on the same page, regarding the GI Bill, but don’t think for one second that he’s not angling for something himself.

  2. Operator Dan says:

    Buyer is on his way out in January. He is making his parting shots.

  3. Doc Bailey says:

    As one who depends on the GI Bill, I would really hope that they don’t fuck with it too much.

  4. TSO says:

    There’s some other issues at play here with Buyer. He and TAL have been at odds. As for the Legion’s official comment on this, I can get you a ton, but this is the short of it as sent to me 3 mins ago by the Legislative Director:

    The American Legion had a preference in the Minnick bill in the House, but Mr. Buyer and others weren’t interested in letting that one see the light of day. It’s too bad they wouldn’t at least get something passed from the House in a bill that had been diligently worked on by the veterans groups.

    The timing and reality of the senate bill left something to be desired and caught a lot of people flat footed. That being said, the bill provides a tremendous amount of good for a greater number of veterans. It’s been estimated that 400,000 veterans will benefit from this bill when it is implemented, those that would otherwise not received that benefit had it not passed. We understand there will be veterans who will lose benefits during the winter break, and this will need to be fixed in another revision. Yet so will some other issues where this falls short.

    The American Legion has struggled with the disparity of treatment for our uniformed service members depending on whether they are National Guard, Reservists, or active duty. They all serve side by side, yet their benefits upon return aren’t the same. This bill goes a long way towards correcting that inequality in benefits.

    It is our hope that those states that are above the 17,500 limit will implement greater “yellow ribbon” programs to help meet that gap. It is the entire nations responsibility to repay the debt owed to those men and women who choose to serve our country not merely the responsibility of the federal government. The yellow ribbon program is one way we can all shoulder that burden.

    Finally, this bill is a byproduct of the various pay-go ramifications and an effort make it cost-neutral (which was more than achieved). That fact, coupled with the wackiness of an energized lame duck Congress gave this bill a Phoenix-like resurrection. Just weeks before we figured it was a project for the 112th Congress. The perfect fix-it bill cost $2B. This wasn’t perfect, but certainly better than a lump of coal.

  5. Voltaire says:

    Let not the perfect be the enemy of the good.

  6. DaveO says:

    It’s not so much what is written in the legislation, but how the legislation will be applied/administered. We’re essentially going to see, initially, a large number of people entered into a database that will feed an IT that is supposed to spit out a check or two each month.

    Is the current system scalable enough to handle the additions? If past is prologue: nope. Not without a boatload more money spent on more IT, contractors, and govvies to manage the system.

  7. Bob Izzaninja says:

    I find it interesting that Vote Vets has been silent on this bill, but the American Legion and VFW support it. Maybe the 112th congress will add the needed funding and improvements.