U.S. Congressman Phil Gingrey (R-GA), a member of the House Armed Services Committee, today (June 19, 2008) voted in support of H.R. 2642, the Iraq and Afghanistan Supplemental Appropriations Bill, which not only provides necessary funding for the Global War on Terror, but will also strengthen the educational benefit for our men and women in uniform who have so bravely served our nation.
“This bill is a true victory for our men and women in uniform,” said Gingrey. “Not only does this supplemental provide our warfighters the tools they need to continue their success in the Global War on Terror, but it also gives our soldiers returning home the access to higher education that they so richly deserve.”
“Over the last twenty years, the basic Montgomery GI Bill allowance has only increased by 193% while the average cost of a four-year public school – tuition, room and board – has increased by 278%. Given the many sacrifices that our soldiers have made defending our freedoms, it is only right that we address this discrepancy.”
“Republicans fought for the inclusion of provisions allowing the benefit to be transferred between soldiers and their immediate family members — provisions not included in the original Webb GI Bill — which members of the military cited as the most important aspect of any improved version of the GI bill. I was proud to stand with our soldiers — and their families — in supporting this much needed improvement.”
In addition to the transferability to the provisions of the GI Bill here are a few other key provisions House Republicans fought hard to include in the Iraq and Afghanistan Supplemental Appropriations Bill are listed below:
· Provides Troop Funding for FY 2008-2009. The agreement ensures that our men and women in uniform will have the resources they need well into the next Administration, rejecting demands from Democrats to stop funding our troops who continue to make significant progress in Iraq and Afghanistan.
· Eliminates ALL War Restrictions. The agreement gets our troops the funding they need for success without any politically-motivated restrictions that the Democratic Majority pushed for in order to hamstring our commanders in the field.
· Provides New Resources for American Veterans. The agreement will help our veterans (or their families) get a better education after they return from Iraq and Afghanistan.
· Cuts Wasteful Pork. The agreement cuts $8 billion in wasteful Washington spending.
· Rejects Funding for Planned Parenthood. The agreement eliminates funding for Planned Parenthood.
· Ensures SCHIP Serves Low-Income Children First. The agreement eliminates a Senate Democrat-authored provision designed to overturn Administration efforts to ensure that SCHIP serves the neediest children first.
· Includes NO Tax Increases. The agreement includes no tax increases of any kind.