January 12, 2022

House Passes Rep. Mike Levin’s Guard and Reserve GI Bill Parity Act

Bill Ensures Every Day in Uniform Counts for Vital Education Benefits

Washington, D.C.— Today, the House of Representatives passed Rep. Mike Levin’s (D-CA) Guard and Reserve GI Bill Parity Act of 2021 with a broad bipartisan vote of 287-135. The National Guard and Reserve has been utilized at unprecedented levels over the past two years to respond to crises around the country. However, these servicemembers do not accrue the same GI Bill benefits as their active duty counterparts, even when they take on the same jobs with the same risks. This legislation rectifies that disparity by ensuring that every day spent in uniform—including training days—counts toward vital GI Bill benefits. This bipartisan legislation has the support of The American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars, Student Veterans of America, the Veterans Education Project, National Guard Association of the United States, Enlisted Association of the National Guard of the United States, and the Reserve Officers Association. See full bill text here.

“National Guard and Reserve members are increasingly serving on the front lines of our nation’s greatest challenges, responding to climate disasters, the pandemic, and the attack on our nation’s Capitol Building,” said Rep. Mike Levin. “It’s shameful that we have asked Guard and Reserve members to respond to these crises without providing them with the same GI Bill benefits as the active duty servicemembers who they often serve with. It’s time for us to step up and give them the benefits they have earned for protecting the American people. I’m glad to see this commonsense, bipartisan bill pass the House today to give Guard and Reserve members the benefits they have earned and deserve.”

“National Guard and Reserve servicemembers have stepped up time and time again to serve our nation when we needed them—especially over the past two years—but right now, they don’t have equitable access to the GI Bill benefits they have earned. If these servicemembers can do their part day in and day out, while holding down civilian jobs and squeezing in time to take care of their families, then the least we can do is ensure each day they spend in uniform counts towards their benefits,” said House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Takano. “I want to thank Rep. Levin for leading the fight for GI Bill parity and all of my colleagues who joined us today in passing his vital Guard and Reserve GI Bill Parity Act. This earned educational benefit will only make our country stronger, and I can’t wait to see what our servicemembers accomplish with their GI Bill benefits.” 

In 2020, the National Guard and Reserve were used more and for longer than any time period since World War II. Servicemembers helped respond to: