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Improvising Transparency of Education Opportunities for Veterans Act of 2012

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. BILIRAKIS. Mr. Speaker, I rise today in strong support of H.R. 4057, the Improving Transparency of Education Opportunities for Veterans Act, as amended by the Senate. I'm truly proud of my colleagues in both the House and the Senate for putting aside partisan differences and coming together to move this bill through both Chambers in the best interests of our true American heroes, our veterans.

As more and more servicemembers are leaving Active Duty and use their post-9/11 GI benefits, there is an increased need for information to help them choose institutions of higher learning which maximize their benefits and best meet their future career demands.

My bill, as amended, requires the Secretary of Veterans Affairs to create a comprehensive policy, which includes informing veterans about their eligibility for educational counseling, creating a centralized complaint database on schools, requiring State-approving agencies to better communicate with accrediting agencies, establishing how information will be presented in the transition assistance program, and identifying commercially off-the-shelf available software to assist students in choosing a school and evaluating their readiness to attend postsecondary institutions.

I want to express my sincere appreciation to my good friend, Chairman Jeff Miller, a fellow Floridian, and also the ranking member, BOB FILNER, of course, Mr. Michaud, along with Senators MURRAY and BURR, for moving this legislation through both Chambers. I would like to thank also Representative Braley, the veterans service organizations, and higher education associations for providing feedback on ways to improve this bill and their continued support going forward.

Mr. Speaker, I urge passage of H.R. 4057.

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