The House of Representatives voted unanimously late Monday to approve a new GI Bill that would expand access to higher education for veterans, those wounded on the battlefield and the surviving family members of troops killed in combat.
The new bill, called the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017, received broad bipartisan support and was passed 405 to 0 with 28 House members not voting.
The measure will significantly expand access to education for veterans who become eligible for benefits after 2018.
The new legislation would remove a 15-year cap to “use or lose” tuition assistance and instead allow veterans to access the educational benefit at any time for life.
The bill would also open up qualifications for tuition assistance to more reservists who deploy on active duty, to Purple Heart recipients no matter the amount of time they served and also to surviving family members of veterans who die in the line of duty.
Additionally, the legislation would restore benefits to veterans who lost credits after sudden school closures, such as students affected by the closure of ITT Technical Institute and Corinthian College.
After passing the House, the bill now moves to the Senate, which will conduct a hearing on the matter on Wednesday.