New GI Bill Gets Closer

The full House last week approved the 2008 war supplemental appropriations bill, which now includes the post-9/11 GI bill that targets veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan operations and was introduced by Sen. James Webb (D-Va.). Although Administration and other critics declared the new GI bill too costly, President Bush indicated in a statement June 20 that he would sign the war supplemental legislation and praised the new GI bill effort. Webb acknowledged the White House approval in a statement: The measure has “received meticulous scrutiny and the full support of every major veterans’ organization. It will pay for a veteran’s tuition, books, and a monthly stipend, along the lines of the benefits given to those who returned from World War II. As such, it fulfills the pledge I made on my first day of office to provide today’s veterans with the opportunity to move forward into an absolutely first-class future. … I am looking forward to the President living up to his word.” The Senate already has signed on to the GI bill measure, but it must now vote on the entire bill.