October 16, 2019

Legislation Introduced by Rep. Mike Levin to Strengthen GI Bill Passes House Veterans’ Affairs Committee

Washington, D.C. – Today, legislation introduced by U.S. Representative Mike Levin (D-CA) passed out of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee with bipartisan support. Rep. Levin’s Protect the GI Bill Act will increase transparency and accountability among educational programs that receive VA funding. The Committee also passed bipartisan legislation introduced by Reps. Levin and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) to help reduce homelessness among women veterans and their families.

The Protect the GI Bill Act ensures that schools receiving GI Bill funding inform prospective students of the cost of attendance, how much their benefits cover, student outcomes, and more. The bill empowers State Approving Agencies (SAAs) to flag or suspend new enrollments to schools that violate these requirements. Levin’s legislation also bans schools from misrepresenting themselves while marketing, recruiting, and enrolling students.

“Veterans who are pursuing higher education should be set up for success, and that means providing the information they need to make smart decisions and holding schools accountable,” said Rep. Levin. “This bipartisan package will help protect veterans’ GI Bill benefits, as well as the time and effort they invest into their education. I’m thrilled to see this legislation advance with bipartisan support and look forward to a vote on the House floor.”

Rep. Levin’s Protect the GI Bill Act package also:

  • Makes a technical correction for Basic Allowance for Housing (BAH) payments. [Provision from H.R. 4312, Reserve and Guard GI Bill Housing Fairness Act – Rep. Susan Davis (D-CA)]
  • Aligns definitions of an eligible child in the Departments of Veterans Affairs (VA) and Defense (DoD) for education benefit transfer. Currently, DoD includes wards and foster children while VA does not. [Provision from H.R. 1718, GI Bill Education Fairness Act – Rep. Foster (D-IL)]
  • Requires schools and students to verify enrollment to VA each month; Allows SAAs to disapprove courses that are at risk of losing accreditation; Requires that the Department of Education approve a school before VA or an SAA does so, and more. [Provisions from H.R. 4085, Student Veteran Empowerment Act – Rep. Bilirakis (R-FL)]
  • Makes returning overpayments to VA the responsibility of schools, not students. [Provision from Student Veteran Protection Act (Draft) – Rep. Susie Lee (D-NV)]