Student News

Senate Passes Urgent COVID-19 Bill for Student Veterans

Shawna Newman

March 18, 2020

Senate Passes Urgent COVID-19 Bill for Student Veterans
Roe’s Bill, an emergency COVID-19 GI Bill protection plan, passed through the U.S. Senate on Monday, March 16. The intent of this measure is to guard student veterans and GI Bill recipients from a Coronavirus-influenced financial burden. Prior to the introduction of this measure, the GI Bill faced a critical flaw due to the Coronavirus outbreak as funds are higher for students attending in-person classes. In order to contain the spread of COVID-19, colleges have shifted their original classroom formats to online learning. Looking for more COVID-19 student-impact information? Find it here. Looking for more Military.com COVID-19 coverage? Find it here. These essential course adjustments have the student-advocate group, Student Veterans of America, concerned about the hidden implications of class-format changes on military service recipients. Just as the SVA group rallied to help to expedite Roe’s Bill through the Senate, they’re hopeful The House will follow suit. According to Military.com, “If veterans' courses originally were not approved for online instruction, all of their benefits will stop as soon as they begin online classes...” GI Bill recipients receive payments from the Department of Veterans Affairs to help them pay for college and other important items such as housing, food, and other living essentials related to obtaining a college degree. This military and veteran’s educational benefit is provided to active duty, Selected Reserve, members of the National Guard and some U.S. military families This would create a critical burden for thousands of GI Bill recipients. Roe’s Bill, introduced by Rep. Phil Roe of Tennessee, a member of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, is now at the U.S. House for review. The House is set to reconvene tomorrow, Thursday, March 19. Senate Veterans' Affairs Committee leaders Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) are urging the House to quickly approve the proposal. Learn more about the GI Bill from Military.com contributor, Amy Bushatz.

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