Brooks’ Veterans TEST Accessibility Act Included in GI Bill Legislative Package PASSES the House
Washington, D.C. – Today, the Veterans To Enhance Studies Through (TEST) Accessibility Act, a bill Congresswoman Susan W. Brooks (R-IN05) introduced earlier this year, passed the House of Representatives with bipartisan support as a part of the #ForeverGIBill package, the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017.
This bill provides veterans better access to the GI Bill benefits they have earned. It ensures our vets are provided with the tools they need to join the workforce upon returning home from their deployment, so they can better provide for themselves and their families. For more information on the legislative package, click here.
To watch Brooks speak on the House Floor in favor of the #ForeverGIBill, click here.
Remarks As Prepared:
I rise today to speak in support of H.R. 3218, the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act, a bipartisan package that will extend and ultimately improve our veteran’s access to GI Bill benefits. This package includes over 28 provisions and brings forward countless enhancements that veterans groups have requested for years. We owe a debt of gratitude to the brave men and women who served our country, and I’m proud that my bill, the Veterans TEST Accessibility Act, is included in this package.
The Veterans TEST Accessibility Act does just what the title implies – it gives our veterans simpler, fairer access to tests, like the SAT and GRE, as well as licensing and certification tests, like certifications for mechanics, firefighters, and realtors.
Current law requires veterans to use a full month of eligibility to be reimbursed for such tests. Given the relatively low cost of many tests, it often simply isn’t worth it for veterans to lose potential reimbursement for an entire month of other educational expenses, like tuition. This provision fixes that—veterans will be reimbursed for the amount of the test and can still utilize remaining eligibility to cover other educational expenses incurred that month.
Our vets have the skills and experience that universities and employers are looking for, but face challenges that their civilian counterparts do not. This commonsense provision will give our veterans the tools they need to compete in the job market and help address veteran under- and unemployment. It allows them to take what they learned prior to and during service and use the benefits they have earned to advance their education and career.
I’d like to thank Chairman Roe, the VSOs, and all of my colleagues who have contributed to this important piece of legislation. As the number of post-9/11 veterans continues to grow, I am pleased the House is taking up this measure that will empower our veterans to achieve and make a life for themselves after returning to civilian life.