April 21, 2017

Ranking Member Walz, HVAC Dems Statement On Republican Effort To Tax Troops In Exchange For G.I. Bill Benefits

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Ranking Member Tim Walz (D-MN) alongside Democratic members of the Committee released the following statement regarding a proposal by Congressional Republicans on the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs to institute a monthly reduction in pay for troops as a means of offsetting the cost of expanding G.I. Bill eligibility and longevity for future veterans. The proposal being considered would put in place a $100 per month “reduction in pay” for both active duty and Guard/Reserve members as a means to cover the $3 billion cost of this package over ten years. 

“We are well aware of the difficulties of getting by on a servicemember’s salary. That’s why we are so concerned about asking our troops, who already sacrifice more than enough, to bear any additional burden in exchange for the benefits they deserve. While $100.00 a month might not seem like a lot to a member of Congress, it certainly does when you’re a Private taking home less than $1,500 per month.”

“With U.S. military operations expanding around the world, asking our troops to pay for their own benefits while we are still engaged in conflict sends the wrong signal and is the wrong thing to do. When a servicemember raises their right hand, they promise to serve and protect the United States no matter what, and in return we promise to give them a free higher education in exchange for their service.”

“We commend Chairman Roe for postponing the legislative hearing where this legislation was scheduled to be debated. There are important decisions to be made as we work together to update and improve the GI Bill to best serve America’s future heroes.  However, with American men and women in uniform stationed and engaged around the world, we should be having a robust debate in Congress about how we can best honor their sacrifice, not asking them to sacrifice more.”