House Republicans have drafted legislation that would deduct monthly from the pay of American troops to allow them to access the GI Bill.
The GI Bill, which was initially passed after World War II, covers the tuition costs of 4 years of schooling at public university in exchange for 3 years of service and provides education to wounded soldiers, reservists, and active duty personnel.
Phil Roe, House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman, is leading the forefront on this latest assault on the benefits of U.S. soldiers.
According to The Military Times the legislation calls for a deduction of $100 a month from each service members paycheck. Access to the GI bill will be available once deductions reach $2400.
The money taken would not offset the cost of the program itself, since it is nowhere near the total cost of providing a single recipient access to the bill. However, the bill will force troops with lower earnings to provide a means of funding the GI bill for other service members.
Supporters of the proposal, or “soles”, claim making soldiers “buy in” to benefits previously earned through service, would take future budget cuts to veteran’s benefits of the table completely as opposed to banning cuts on veteran’s benefits completely.
Although the bill would only affect newly enlisted members, it goes completely against the “Support the Troops” rhetoric echoed among the Republican party and jeopardizes the most effective recruiting tool used by the armed services.
Steven E. Johnson is a Mississippi-based author who covers racial justice and political issues for the Resistance Report. You can contact him at stevejlive at gmail dot com.