McCAIN WELCOMES AGREEMENT ON BENEFITS FOR VETERANS AND SERVICEMEMBERS
U.S. Senator John McCain (R-Ariz.) today released the following statement regarding the agreement reached on emergency, supplemental appropriations:
"I am pleased an agreement has finally been reached to fund our troops. It is unfortunate that for months, the Democrat controlled Congress has placed partisan politics over essential war funding needs, demonstrating an unconscionable lack of concern for the welfare of our combat troops in the field and for the morale of all DOD personnel. Fortunately, it is reported that an agreement between the House, Senate, and Administration is imminent, and urgently needed funding will be enacted shortly not only to aid our troops, but to fund several emergencies throughout our nation, particularly in the Midwest. We need to provide federal assistance to these flood damaged communities as soon as possible.
"With respect to the G.I. Bill changes that have been included in this agreement, I am very pleased that the important education benefits that will be provided to our veterans and servicemembers will include the option for those currently serving to transfer educational benefits to their families and in that manner encourage retention. That has always been my primary concern with respect to the Webb bill, and it is essential that we continue to act decisively to encourage military service and ensure the well being of our All Volunteer Force. With the addition of the transferability provisions sought by Senators Graham, Burr, myself and others to give servicemembers the right to transfer earned G.I. Bill benefits to spouses and children, we will have achieved in offering vastly improved educational benefit while also offering incentives for continued service by the most capable, experienced NCO's and officers. Our courageous NCO's and officers called for this option, and I believe that its inclusion in this bill will help maintain retention levels in all the Services where it needs to be for the well being of the All Volunteer Force and our Nation."