Buchanan Bill to Help Student Veterans Approved by U.S. House
WASHINGTON – Congressman Vern Buchanan today announced that his legislation, the Veterans Eligible to Transfer School (VETS) Credit Act, was passed by the U.S. House last night with broad bipartisan support.
The VETS Credit Act, H.R.6604, would help student veterans by ensuring they are able to quickly and easily transfer their course credits to another institution should their school close or program end suddenly.
“The G.I. Bill’s promise of a college education is one of most important end effective tools we have at our disposal to help recruit and retain the very best and brightest to serve in the U.S. military,” said Buchanan. “I’m pleased to see the U.S. House approve my bill, the VETS Credit Act, to ensure that no veteran loses access to the valuable G.I. bill credits they have earned and deserve by virtue of their service. I am hopeful the Senate will take up and pass this important bill in the coming months, bringing it one step closer to becoming law.”
While current law requires the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to restore G.I. Bill benefits (up to 12 credits) to eligible student veterans whose schools close or program ends in the middle of a semester, the process can be very confusing and oftentimes leaves veterans unable to easily transfer their earned credits to a new school.
Specifically, Buchanan’s bill would require the VA to work with students and explain the school credit transfer process and to provide them with a certificate of eligibility from the VA providing proof of their restored benefits.
In their endorsement of Buchanan’s bill, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA) said, “IAVA is committed to ensuring that every veteran can take full advantage of their earned education benefits and that no veteran loses valuable G.I. Bill credits if their school closes or program ends. The Veterans Eligible to Transfer School (VETS) Credit Act will guarantee that affected veterans can easily transfer their course credits to another institution if that happens thereby avoiding the unnecessary loss of benefits.”
The VETS Credit Act has also been endorsed by Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and Veterans Education Success (VES).
Buchanan has a strong record of fighting for veterans and military families. In December, a Buchanan measure to reduce military training accidents following the death of Bradenton soldier Nicolas Panipinto was enacted into law. Buchanan has also re-introduced the Veterans Overmedication and Suicide Prevention Act, which requires the VA to study the link between addictive opioids and the alarmingly high rate of suicides among veterans.