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ICYMI: Ranking Member Bost Votes to Protect Student Veterans’ Housing Benefits

Today, Rep. Mike Bost (R-Ill.), the Ranking Member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, released the following statement after the House passed H.R. 5545, the REMOTE Act. The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) pays a lower housing allowance for student veterans taking online classes. As a result, when colleges and universities cancelled in-person learning last year as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress had to act to ensure that student veterans were not unfairly penalized for that by having their housing allowance cut. H.R. 5545 ensures that student veterans continue to receive full housing benefits despite participating in online learning this academic year due to the pandemic.

“As we continue to recover from the pandemic and cope with new variants, many schools are still only offering virtual classes,” said Ranking Member Bost. “Yet, protections to ensure that student veterans who can’t access in-person classes don’t have their living stipends cut will expire in just two weeks, four days before Christmas. Student veterans should be focused on finishing their semester strong, not worrying about whether they will be able to afford rent in the new year. This bill will help them do that and I am proud to support it. This bill also ensures that student veterans retain their full monthly housing allowance for the duration of a semester even if they finish their coursework early. That is a commonsense guarantee so that high-achievers, which many student veterans are, are not disincentivized from being ahead of the game. Finally, I am pleased that this bill is fully paid for to avoid adding yet another burden to taxpayers’ backs. Student veterans deserve peace of mind before the end of the year. That’s why I look forward to seeing H.R. 5545 passed in the Senate and signed into law as soon as possible. I sincerely hope 2022 brings a safe return to in-person learning for veterans and all students.”
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