WASHINGTON, DC -- Last night, the U.S. House of Representatives passed eight bills to improve the quality of life for veterans, including a lifetime extension for the GI Bill.
Rather than limiting the time in which a veteran must use their education benefits in the GI Bill to only 15 years, the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act, H.R. 3218 will allow new service members to use those benefits throughout their lifetimes. The bill also includes a pilot program to help veterans become prepared for science and technology jobs.
"Our veterans and military families deserve the very best opportunities that we can provide, from healthcare, to education, training and employment," said Congressman Rogers, a veteran of the Kentucky National Guard. "Together, these bills will improve the quality of life for veterans, while also increasing transparency in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs."
The House passed the following bills, which now head to the U.S. Senate for consideration.
1) H.R. 3218 - The Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017 (described above).
2) H.R. 282 - The Military Residency Choice Act, would allow people who marry a member of the military stationed in a different state to change their residency to the service member’s state for tax and voting purposes.
3) H.R. 1058 - The VA Provider Equity Act would allow podiatrists to serve as supervisors in the VA’s Veterans Health Administration, and would also allow the salaries of podiatric surgeons to be increased if they are in one of these roles.
4) H.R. 1690 - The Department of Veterans Affairs Bonus Transparency Act would require the VA to provide several congressional committees with an annual report on employee bonuses.
5) H.R. 2006 - The VA Procurement Efficiency and Transparency Act would require the VA to record cost savings achieved through the use of competitive contracting procedures. The bill also would direct the VA to use a standard department-wide procurement template that could be customized for particular situations.
6) H.R. 2781 - The Ensuring Veteran Enterprise Participation in Strategic Sourcing Act would require the VA to certify to Congress that a sufficient number of small businesses owned by veterans are receiving contracts awarded through a government-wide purchasing program.
7) H.R. 2749 - The Protecting Business Opportunities for Veterans Act of 2017, would modify a requirement for veteran-owned small businesses to perform a majority of work in small-business contracts awarded by the Veterans Affairs Department.
8) H.R. 1848 - The Veterans Affairs Medical Scribe Pilot Act of 2017, would require the VA to carry out a two-year pilot program to expand the use of unlicensed employees who enter health information into electronic records or charts at the direction of a physician.
For more information about legislation related to veterans, visit veterans.house.gov.