VFW Strongly Opposes New Tax on Troops

‘Congress must stop nickeling and diming our service members and veterans!’

The Veterans of Foreign Wars of the U.S. is strongly opposed to a congressional proposal to reinstate GI Bill enrollment fees on service members.

Prior to 2009, troops had the option of paying into the Montgomery GI Bill, an educational benefit created during peacetime that came with a $1,200 non-reimbursable enrollment fee. As the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan continued, Congress worked with the VFW and others to create what is now known as the Post-9/11 GI Bill. This benefit, like other military and veteran benefits such as health care, is earned through honorable service – not through out-of-pocket fees. But now, while American forces are still actively fighting in the war on terrorism, Congress wants to claw back this critical educational benefit and charge veterans twice as much to access their GI Bill benefits. 

“We are still a nation at war. We have troops actively engaged in Iraq, in Afghanistan, and now in Syria,” said VFW National Commander Brian Duffy. “The war on terrorism is not over! Congress’ focus should be on defeating our enemies and ending the war, not cutting the benefits of those who are fighting it.”

With impending changes to TRICARE and retirement benefits, this proposed tax on troops would force the brave men and women who join the military beginning Jan. 1, 2018, to choose between health care, retirement and education benefits.

“This new tax on troops is absurd. Ensuring veterans are able to successfully transition back to civilian life after military service is a cost of war; and not a fee that Congress can just pass along to our troops,” he said. “Congress must stop nickeling-and-diming America’s service members and veterans!”

This draft legislation is expected to be considered at a House Committee on Veterans Affairs hearing on Wednesday, April 26, at 10 a.m. EDT. The VFW urges every member of Congress to oppose this tax on troops. 

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