Military Advantage

Plan to Freeze GI Bill Stipends Dropped

UPDATE: The House passed HR 1383 and it is now waiting for Senate action. Read the full report from Stars and Stripes' Leo Shane, House Passes GI Bill Fixes, but will the Senate Act?

The House Veterans’ Affairs Committee’s plan to freeze Post-9/11 GI Bill housing stipend rates for two years has been dropped from the Restoring GI Bill Fairness Act of 2011 (HR 1383). The proposed housing rate freeze was designed to help cover the $50 million cost of HR 1383, a law that would correct one of the many unintended consequences of the Post-9/11 Veterans Education Assistance Improvements Act of 2010, the law commonly known as GI Bill 2.0 (the fix to the Post-9/11 GI Bill).

Most of the provisions of GI Bill 2.0 are set to go into effect this fall. The specific issue HR 1383 will address is the impact on student veterans in seven states who will face increased out-of-pocket tuition expenses due to the $17,500 a year private school tuition and fees cap.

Rep. Jeff Miller (R-FL), the bill’s author, has offered a change to the bill that would adjust VA Home Loan origination fees for veterans who use the home loan program more than once.

The plan will not raise the current origination fee rate of 3.3 percent. Instead it will effect a planned fee reduction which is set to go into effect in October. This means that the planned October 1, VA Home Loan origination fee reduction to 2.15% will be changed to 2.8% percent. This is still a fee reduction, just not quite as much as planned.

The House plans to address HR1383 on May 23. Let your elected officials know how you feel about this proposed bill.

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