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house Bill H.R. 4162

Should Military Enlistees Have Six Months Instead of Two Weeks to Decide if They Want to Keep Montgomery GI Bill Benefits?

Argument in favor

New enlistees should have more than two weeks to decide if keeping 1984 Montgomery GI Bill benefits is right for them. In the future, given that nearly all veterans use Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits over MGIB benefits anyway, enlistees should be made ineligible for MGIB benefits in favor of Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits alone. Finally, all public colleges and universities should offer all veterans in-state (or lower) tuition in recognition of their service.

RjGoodman's Opinion
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11/13/2019
I will do you one better. Why is it that our veterans must pay $1,200 to access benefits they have earned? Damn it, we say to these people “Thank you for your service.” Why don’t we treat them like we mean it?
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David's Opinion
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11/13/2019
Two weeks to make a decision that effects you for life is too short. I speak from personal experience.
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Bradford's Opinion
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11/13/2019
Yes, I agree with @Henry - we as a nation should honor our veterans and all those who served. I believe that 6 months rather than 2 weeks would be a more forward looking timeframe, considering the average age of new enlistees, 2 weeks is not a lot of time to make a decision that could potentially carry a lifetime result. The estimated cost of $34 million over four years isn’t even a budget blip and could easily be moved from an already bloated defense budget. I additionally believe that public institutions from the veteran’s home state or legal state of residence should provide free tuition to veterans, rather than offering in-state tuition rates. Other than this, I would further support reinstating the draft - this action, I believe, would make our citizens more alert to and wary of conflicts that our leaders may engage in.
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Argument opposed

Since veterans can use both MGIB and Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits in some cases, it’s not fair to take that option away from future enlistees. Additionally, this bill’s in-state tuition requirement isn’t necessary, as schools already have to charge veterans in-state tuition and fee amounts in order to remain approved for the GI Bill program (so, the VA already effectively requires in-state tuition for any schools with veteran students).

Gregg 's Opinion
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11/13/2019
Tow weeks is not enough time but six months is to long. What may happen is they wait and still make a last minute uninformed decision.
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John's Opinion
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11/13/2019
Isn’t this part of your decision making process prior to enlisting?
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Just.Dave's Opinion
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11/13/2019
Stop these dem criminals from ruining this nation. Impeach the next elected dem! No constitution or facts required, thanks to your precedent... Impeach! I'm getting an early start, really early considering you'll very much lose 2020...
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Veterans' Affairs
  • The house Passed November 12th, 2019
    Roll Call Vote 408 Yea / 0 Nay
      house Committees
      Economic Opportunity
      Committee on Veterans' Affairs
    IntroducedAugust 6th, 2019

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What is House Bill H.R. 4162?

This bill — the GI Bill Planning Act of 2019 — would give military enlistees six months to decide whether to pay a mandatory $1,200 to keep their 1984 Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) benefits. Currently, there are only two weeks for new enlistees to make this decision.

Additionally, it would require public colleges and universities to charge no more than in-state tuition for nearly all students using veterans’ education benefits.

Finally, this bill would end new enlistee enrollments in the MGIB by October 2029, in favor of the newer Post 9/11 GI Bill. Therefore, anyone who joins the military after September 30, 2029 would be ineligible for MGIB benefits (they would have Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits).

Impact

Military enlistees; military enlistees’ decision to keep 1984 Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) benefits; MGIB; public colleges and universities; and new enlistee enrollments into the MGIB.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 4162

The CBO estimates that this bill would cost $34 million over the 2020-2024 period.

More Information

In-DepthSponsoring Rep. Jack Bergman (R-MI) introduced this bill to give military enlistees more time to decide whether they want to pay to keep their 1984 Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) benefits

"Military basic training is a grueling ordeal meant to mold our nation’s finest.  But it doesn’t make sense for these fatigued recruits to immediately be asked to make a consequential, expensive decision about using their future education benefits.  By delaying this decision 6 months, my new legislation will give enlistees the ability to make an informed choice and plan for the future." 

In the press release for this bill, Rep. Bergman’s office contends that the $1,200 fee that veterans need to pay to maintain MGIB eligibility is a “costly burden” for enlistees, especially since they often earn less than $20,000 annually. In light of this, his office argues that this bill’s six month buffer would give enlistees time to develop a clearer understanding of MGIB benefits versus Post 9/11 GI Bill benefits, and to make an informed decision about whether to pay the $1,200.

Original cosponsor Rep. Kathleen Rice (D-NY) adds

“Every year, thousands of new military recruits enroll in the Montgomery GI Bill program, yet many will never use this service, instead opting into the more effective Post-9/11 GI Bill. Nevertheless, these new recruits often keep the MGIB plan and are saddled with the $1,200, simply because they didn’t have enough time to evaluate both programs. We should be doing everything we can to support the brave men and women who volunteer to wear our nation’s uniform. Our bill will ensure that they have the time and ability to pick the right education plan for their future, without unnecessarily spending their hard-earned dollars.”

Student Veterans of America supports this bill. Its Chief of Staff, Will Hubbard, says: 

“The Montgomery GI Bill is a true tax on troops for the vast majority of students using the GI Bill. Nearly all student veterans opt to use the more generous Post-9/11 GI Bill, yet they still pay towards the Montgomery GI Bill in boot camp—what’s worse is that hardly anyone ever receives a refund of these payments. This bill is an important step forward in reducing the number of service members paying hundreds of millions of dollars unnecessarily while allowing those still using the benefit to finish their education."

This legislation passed the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee by voice vote with the support of 15 bipartisan House cosponsors, including eight Republicans and seven Democrats. Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) plans to introduce a Senate companion bill along with Sen. John Barrasso (R-WY).

This legislation is supported by Student Veterans of America, Veterans of Foreign Wars, The American Legion, and Veterans Education Success.


Of NoteAbout 97% of student veterans choose to use the newer, more effective Post 9/11 GI Bill. However, about 70% of military recruits still decide to keep their 1984 Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB) benefits, which they’re required to pay $1,200 to keep. If a new enlistee doesn’t opt out of the MGIB benefit, their first 12 paychecks are garnished (at $100 per paycheck) to take the $1,200 automatically and maintain their MGIB eligibility.

In 2015, the congressionally-authorized Military Compensation and Retirement Modernization Commission determined that the Post 9/11 Bill amounts to a monetary benefit that exceeds that of the MGIB by nearly 50%.

While most veterans use either the MGIB or Post 9/11 GI Bill, they can use both under specific conditions. When they choose to use both bills, they can get up to 48 total months of benefits.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / videodet)

AKA

GI Bill Planning Act of 2019

Official Title

To amend title 38, United States Code, to extend the period under which an election must be made for entitlement to educational assistance under the All-Volunteer Educational Assistance Program of Department of Veterans Affairs, to phase out the use of such program, and for other purposes.

    I will do you one better. Why is it that our veterans must pay $1,200 to access benefits they have earned? Damn it, we say to these people “Thank you for your service.” Why don’t we treat them like we mean it?
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    Two weeks to make a decision that effects you for life is too short. I speak from personal experience.
    Like (15)
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    Yes, I agree with @Henry - we as a nation should honor our veterans and all those who served. I believe that 6 months rather than 2 weeks would be a more forward looking timeframe, considering the average age of new enlistees, 2 weeks is not a lot of time to make a decision that could potentially carry a lifetime result. The estimated cost of $34 million over four years isn’t even a budget blip and could easily be moved from an already bloated defense budget. I additionally believe that public institutions from the veteran’s home state or legal state of residence should provide free tuition to veterans, rather than offering in-state tuition rates. Other than this, I would further support reinstating the draft - this action, I believe, would make our citizens more alert to and wary of conflicts that our leaders may engage in.
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    There is no way to describe military service unless you have served. Once served you never go home.
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    I am a veteran who took full advantage of the educational benefits that were offered to all those who served,at that time. The honorable completion of my duties was all that was required to receive those benefits. I had thirty-six months of benefits and a deadline of eight years in which to use them. Today’s vets should have at least what I had. Indeed, in my view, they should have much, much more.
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    Facts: trump sought status of Ukraine investigations showing aid depended on the investigations themselves. trump complains that witnesses all speak from 2nd and 3rd hand knowledge yet ordered Mulvaney not to testify. Laura Cooper testified that the Pentagon sought clarification from the trump administration about the hold up of the Ukraine aide and received none. A second person has said they reported sexual misconduct involving a former doctor who’s been accused of sexually abusing nearly 300 men over a 17-year period to Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky and his staff felt they would not get the millions of dollars in aid money without publicly committing to launch the investigations Trump wanted. Senior trump administration officials considered resigning en masse in a ‘midnight self massacre’. State Department official says Giuliani was engaged in a campaign ‘full of lies and incorrect information’ about former ambassador. trump to pay $2 million for charity foundation misuse. trump wanted attorney general Barr to hold a news conference saying the president broke no laws on Ukraine call. White House official who heard trumps call with Ukraine president was told to keep quite. White House lawyer moved transcript of trump call to classified server after Ukraine adviser raised alarms. He has politicized our national security and has chosen Putin and other dictators over our own congress and security agencies. “I stated to Amb. Sondland that his statements were inappropriate, that the request to investigate Biden and his son had nothing to do with national security, and that such investigations were not something the NSC was going to get involved in or push,” Vindman adds. Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, a top Ukraine expert on the National Security Council is testifying that trump demanded that a foreign government investigate an American citizen in exchange for Congresses approved aide. Just reached a $984 billion deficit while he lines his pockets with our tax dollars and foreign money at his resorts. $400 million in aide money was withheld from Ukraine back in August and Ukrainian leaders were told it was not red tape, that they needed to talk to Chief of Staff Mulvaney to resolve it and make a CNN statement about Biden in order to receive said aide. Rudolph W. Giuliani, the president’s personal lawyer, is running a shadow foreign policy in Ukraine that circumvents U.S. officials and career diplomats in order to personally benefit President trump. Igor Fruman and Lev Parnas. Look them up. North Korea just tested a submarine launched missile. Deserted our Kurdish allies who have been fighting ISIS with us and now are being slaughtered. All because he has a tower in Istanbul. “The Americans betrayed us. We do not trust them anymore,” she added. These used to be our Kurdish allies that stood against ISIS. He is refusing to comply with the law. He is using the power of the presidency to withhold aide to one of the worst humanitarian crisis on the planet in exchange for political favors in order to sway the 20/20 election. He is acting like a criminal and threatening the life of the whistleblower. Mr. America first is sending troops to Saudi Arabia in support of a murdering dictator who spends millions at his hotels and resorts. Corey Lewandowski testified to congress that trump ordered him to obstruct justice. He is blocking information that pertains to the safety of our country from reaching congress. He has been threatening NOAA, a federal agency, with punishment if they do not disavow the truth and side with his lies. He invited the Taliban to Camp David the week of 9/11. He is a #PussyAssBitch He’s doctoring weather maps to try and prove he’s not an idiot. He has stayed at trump properties 293 days in 3 years, that’s our tax dollars going directly into his pocket. He took money from military daycares to pay for a wall that won’t work and no one wants. The Vice President and the Attorney General are both spending tax payer dollars on trump hotels, lining his pockets and currying his favor. He has privately instructed aides to skirt laws and regulations to get the wall built faster — and told them he will pardon them if necessary. He is pressuring a government agency to give a contract for his wall to a company whose chief executive is a donor to one of his top GOP allies in Congress. He took hundreds of millions from 127 different projects (FEMA being one of those) for his wall. He thinks nuking a hurricane is an idea. He is host the next G-7 at one of his own resorts. Again our tax dollars paying him directly. He taunted Iran by tweeting a classified image of an Iranian rocket that had exploded, thereby potentially compromising U.S. intelligence capabilities. His own company would save millions from the low interest rates he is demanding. He was going to give you tax cuts through your paychecks but decided not to. This year the richest of us payed less in taxes than the rest of us. He is destroying the economy with HIS trade war. We will soon average a 1.2 trillion deficit. He is repeating NRA talking points on background checks so expect no action taken regardless of the fact there has been 27 arrested over threats to commit mass attacks since El Paso( NOT TOLEDO). He made fun of republicans being afraid of the NRA and then caved after a 30 minute phone conversation with them. He bragged about indefinite child detention because it brings families together. He is refusing flue shots, that protect us all(google influenza pandemic), to immigrant children. He is attacking fellow congresswomen in really disgusting ways and making anti-Semitic remarks about Jews calling them disloyal. He thinks he’s the chosen one based on a conspiracy theory web sight. He has: Obstructed Justice. Is profiting from the Presidency. Colluded - They had a meeting & lied about it. Advocated political & police violence. Abuse of power. Engaging in reckless behavior. Persecuting political opponents. Attacking the free press. Violating immigrants Right to Due Process. Violating campaign finance laws. Racist: Speaks directly to and often tweeting straight from white supremacists. Calls them very fine people. Told fellow congresswomen to go back where they came from. Called them shit hole countries. Called them murderers and rapists. Calls her Pocahontas. Took out full page adds calling for the death of five innocent black kids in New York, 1989. Literally has said in an interview he has Hitlers speeches, My New Order in his nightstand. Our Money: Spent campaign finance money on hush payments to silence a porn star he had an affair with in order to hide it from the voters. Has spent over $100 million of our tax dollars playing golf at his own golf courses. Has never divested from companies and advertises and profits off the White House. Was going to cut Medicaid and Medicare funding to pay for the tax cuts he gave to the rich. Is actively destroying farmers lives with his trade wars that we all know only hurts our pockets not Chinas. Has made the lives of every truck driver across America as well as our own, more dangerous by removing safety regulations that only benefits the pockets of the CEOs of those companies. Has removed any and all protections we had in place from work safety, environment, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights and gives that power back to the CEOs, oil companies, men and old white men. Saudi funded lobbyist rented 500 rooms at a trump hotel he never divested from right after he became president. Wonder why? Sexual Predator: Accused by more than 20 women of molestation and rape. Bragged about said molestation on tape. Has cheated on all three wives (see above). Has made sexual remarks on camera about his daughter. Belittles and bully’s women. Not even sure he’s aware he has two daughters. Idiot: Has allowed North Korea to grow there nuclear weapons program. Took the side of Putin over America’s own security agencies on the national stage. Lacks the intelligence and facts needed to communicate on a global level much less national one. Makes policy decisions based on FOX media. Lies when speaks. Doesn’t believe in science and quite often displays his ignorance of it. Russia: Lied about meetings with Russians. Lied about a trump tower Moscow. Personal attorney Michael Cohen (same guy who broke campaign finance laws under trumps direction) had contacts with russian officials. National Security aide Flynn resigned over Russian contacts. Jeff Sessions recused himself because of Russian contacts. Manafort resigned because of Russian contacts. Campaign foreign policy adviser Papadopoulos met with Russians then bragged about it to Australians who then turned that info over to our FBI. Sixteen campaign officials had contacts with Russia and at least nine others new about it. Russian mobster lived in trump tower. trump casino was flagged 106 times for lax money laundering standards and same Russian frequently stayed at trump casino. Has been selling real estate to Russians for years. It really is surprising how many connections to Russians this man has. Rick Scott, Marco Rubio, Bill Posey You are my representatives. OLC policy: The indictment or criminal prosecution of a crime sitting President would unconstitutionally undermine the capacity of the executive branch to perform its constitutionally assigned functions. It’s time to do your job. You swore an oath to this country, it’s people and me to uphold the constitution. The president has never upheld that oath. How do you want to be remembered?
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    Two weeks is not enough time to make important financial decisions.
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    House Bill H.R. 4162 Has passed, so this comment is redundant. I support the bill. Many recruits are not aware of the benefits available to them - either out of pure ignorance or a failure in recruiting. All agents, recruiters, representatives, veterans, et al, should make every effort to inform people - young and old - about military benefits, their differences and how to make informed decisions regarding their future education. The Montgomery GI Bill was all that was available when I first enlisted. I opted in. Then, The GI Bill became available and choosing became necessary. Simplifying these choices, as they emerge, will help. Spread the word, inform and educate. It’s the right thing to do.
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    Makes common sense.
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    Tow weeks is not enough time but six months is to long. What may happen is they wait and still make a last minute uninformed decision.
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    Isn’t this part of your decision making process prior to enlisting?
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    The transition from active duty to civilian life can be complicated and traumatic. The extra time would not hurt.
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    Ever experience a person who is only two weeks fresh out of Iraq! This is NEEDED !
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    Give them time to decide what is right for them. That costs nothing and makes the program more user friendly. $1,200 is a lot of money for a new recruit who may not have much money
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    They should have as long as they want. They earned it.
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    They need time to process their return to civilian life and with all of the changes the MUST adjust to they should NOT-be rushed to make this decision.
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    Vets Should be able to access their benefits at any point in Life.
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    It was illegal to begin with. The democrats should have taken advantage of Trumps offer when it was offered. They can screwup an ice cream cone. Besides why should they have to pay or give up anything? Wouldn’t that be a small thing to do on our part to support our veterans?
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    During those first few days of Basic people are sleep deprived & disoriented due to culture shock. Asking people to make a decision that will impact them for the rest of their lives under those conditions, especially when a large portion of them don't really understand the nuance is unfair. Give them more time. It's not as if the Military can't garnish pay at any point during the person's enlistment.
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    Stop these dem criminals from ruining this nation. Impeach the next elected dem! No constitution or facts required, thanks to your precedent... Impeach! I'm getting an early start, really early considering you'll very much lose 2020...
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