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Berkley to Vote for Enhanced GI Bill, Full Troop Funding


Location: Washington, DC


Package Improves Educational Benefits for America's Armed Forces & Veterans

Congresswoman Shelley Berkley will vote later today to fully fund the mission of America's troops in Iraq and Afghanistan and to modernize the GI Bill, which provides scholarships to returning members of the armed forces. As a member of the House Committee on Veterans' Affairs, Berkley has fought to enhance educational opportunities and resources for current vets and the men and women serving in America's military.

"This funding package will ensure that our troops have the resources they need to continue their mission. More than 15,000 Nevadans have served in Iraq and Afghanistan since 2001 and I salute the dedication and bravery of these men and women and recognize the sacrifices that have been made by their loved ones back home," said Berkley.

The legislation before the House includes $161.8 billion to support the cost of military operations in Iraq and Afghanistan through the summer of 2009. The package also modernizes the GI Bill, including enhanced benefits for the National Guard and Reserves.

"I am proud to support this modernization of the GI Bill which will give more of our troops the financial assistance they need to pay for college or advanced technical training," said Berkley. "Our plan fully restores education benefits for Iraq and Afghanistan veterans to the level available after World War II and it honors the promise we made to our men and women in military uniform. Enhancing educational benefits will give our returning troops the tools they need to succeed in the workplace, including careers outside or inside the U.S. military."

The GI bill modernization package has the support of major veterans' organizations, including the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America.

"There is no question we need to improve and expand the GI Bill and that includes full benefits for our National Guard and Reserve units that have bravely served since September 11, 2001," said Berkley.

The new GI Bill restores full, four-year college scholarships to veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars to help make them part of an economic recovery like the veterans of World War II. Under the bill, servicemembers returning from Iraq or Afghanistan, who have served three years on active duty, would receive benefits to cover the costs of a four-year education up to the level of the most expensive in-state public school. Education benefits would be available to troops who have served at least 3 months of active duty since September 11, 2001, including members of the National Guard and Reserve.

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