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Wenstrup Introduces Legislation to Improve Quality, Sustainability of GI Bill

Washington, October 26, 2017 | Hailey Sadler (2022253164)
Tags: Veterans

WASHINGTON, D.C. –  Today, Congressman Brad Wenstrup (OH-02), Chairman of the House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Health and former Chairman of House Veterans’ Affairs Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity, introduced the G.I. Bill Education Quality Enhancement Act (H.R. 4149) to improve the quality and sustainability of the educational programs offered to the men and women who serve this country.

By placing a cap on flight training pursued at public schools that is equal to the private school cap, H.R. 4149 corrects a loophole in current law that has previously allowed flight schools to exploit the GI Bill and drive up costs. The current private school cap is $22,805 for the 2017 school year.

“For our warfighters who return home from service, the GI Bill often plays an essential role in assisting their transition back to civilian life. Ensuring its sustainability for future generations is vital,” said Chairman Wenstrup. “H.R. 4149 is a commonsense correction to help ensure veterans using the G.I. Bill for flight schools can do so effectively, while reining in certain out of control costs. I am grateful to my colleagues on the committee for joining with me to help safeguard the longevity of the program and ensure our resources are serving our veterans in their best capacity.”

“As a veteran and former chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic Opportunity, Rep. Wenstrup knows firsthand the importance of preserving the GI Bill for future generations,” said House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Phil Roe. “I’m grateful for his leadership on this legislation that will close a loophole for flight schools taking advantage of the GI Bill program and create a more sustainable GI Bill for all student veterans.” 

Further background: This issue was brought to Chairman Wenstrup’s attention by the Department of Veterans Affairs and veterans’ advocate associations, who identified a loophole in the G.I. Bill; some flight schools discovered there was no limit to what they could charge veteran students taking flight school courses. Unfortunately, as a result, some private contractors have previously exploited this loophole to leverage uncapped fees to charge upwards of $500,000 per student. This has caused inflated tuition costs and fees in the past, simply because the government will pay.

This legislation would address that by placing a cap on flight training pursued at public schools, but would also allow a student to receive accelerated payments for flight training, allowing them to use double the cap for a shorter time period needed to complete the training. Additionally, H.R. 4149 allows an individual to have their training for a private pilot’s license paid for under their GI Bill benefits.

Congressman Wenstrup introduced similar legislation during the 114th Congress.


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