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Congressmen Kinzinger, Panetta Introduce Legislation to Restore Servicemembers’ Ability to Transfer Education Benefits

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Washington, January 10, 2020 | Maura Gillespie (2022253635) | comments
Last month, Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) joined Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) as an original cosponsor to introduce H.R.5522, the Post-9/11 GI Bill Transferability Entitlement Act.
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WASHINGTON, DC – Last month, Congressman Adam Kinzinger (R-IL) joined Congressman Jimmy Panetta (D-CA) as an original cosponsor to introduce bipartisan legislation to restore eligibility to servicemembers seeking to transfer their educational benefits to dependents. The Post-9/11 GI Bill Transferability Entitlement Act ensures that all servicemembers who have completed ten years of service in the Armed Forces are eligible to transfer their benefits to dependents at any time – both while serving on active duty and as a veteran.

A recent Department of Defense policy change requires servicemembers to commit an additional four years of military service at the time of their application to transfer benefits. The policy change also prevents servicemembers with more than sixteen years of military service from transferring education benefits to their eligible dependents.

"We have a responsibility to the brave men and women who answer the call of duty and put their own lives at risk. We must keep these promises and alleviate any barriers to Veterans from receiving the benefits they deserve and earned from their selfless service," said Congressman Kinzinger.

"By requiring additional years of military service to transfer educational benefits to dependents, the administration is breaking our commitment to military families and creating confusion among servicemembers. My bill will ensure that those who served in the Armed Forces and their families can receive the education and training they have earned and were promised," said Congressman Panetta.

In addition to Congressman Kinzinger, Congressmen Michael Waltz (FL-06), Gil Cisneros (CA-39), and Jason Crow (CO-06) are also original cosponsors of the measure, which was introduced on December 19, 2019.

"It is only fair for all of our servicemembers to have the option to transfer the unused education benefits which they have earned to their loved ones who have sacrificed so much," Congressman Waltz said. "This is not just a family-financial issue but a strategic issue for our volunteer military which affects recruitment and retention – and this legislation assures we’ll continue to have the finest fighting force in the world."

"Congress has a responsibility to fulfill the promises it has made to our men and women in uniform. As a Navy Veteran, I’m disappointed that the Department of Defense’s policy makes it harder for our servicemembers – who have sacrificed so much for our country – to transfer their education benefits to their family. Today, I’m joining my colleagues in correcting this injustice and ensuring every veteran and servicemember and their family get the benefits they’ve earned," said Congressman Cisneros.

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