Saturday, June 28, 2008

On Passage Of The 21st Century GI Bill

Sen. Jim Webb on White House's Embrace of his 21st Century GI Bill:

"For the past 17 months, I and my staff have been working every day to provide first-class educational benefits to those who have served since 9/11. I am delighted that after having opposed this legislation, the President has now pledged that he will not veto it when it comes before him as part of this year's supplemental appropriations package.

"The bill being sent to the President contains every provision in S. 22, which 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 would like to again express my appreciation to the veterans' service organizations, many of whom communicated their support of this bill directly to a skeptical White House, and to the 58 Senate and 302 House cosponsors of this landmark legislation. This bipartisan coalition consistently rejected the allegations of this Administration, and of Senators McCain, Burr and Graham, among others, who claimed that the bill was too generous to our veterans, too difficult to administer and would hurt retention.

"It has now been nearly seven years since 9/11 -- seven years since those who have been serving in our military began earning the right for a proper wartime GI Bill. I am looking forward to the President living up to his word, and signing this legislation at his earliest opportunity."

Sen. Jim Webb on the passage of 21st Century GI Bill:

“Today, the Senate took a final historic step toward a modern and fair educational benefit for the men and women who have served honorably since 9/11. This bill properly responds to the needs of those who answered the call of duty to our country—those who moved toward the sound of the guns—often at great sacrifice.

“Eighteen months ago, we began with the simple concept that those who have been serving since 9/11 should have the same opportunity for a first class educational future as those who served during World War II. Today, we have accomplished that goal.

McSame No Show:

As if trying to steal credit for Webb’s GI Bill wasn’t bad enough, McCain yesterday skipped the Senate vote on the legislation, which passed 92-6. The only other senator not present for the vote was Ted Kennedy (D-MA), who is battling a brain tumor. [snip]

McCain has not voted in the Senate since April 8 and has missed 367 votes (61.4 percent) during the current Congress.

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