alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.

Webb: McCain Refuses to Co-Sponsor GI Bill for Post 9/11 Vets


On his first day in office in January 2007, Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) introduced the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2007, intended to be “a mirror image of the WW II G.I. Bill.” A new version with broad bipartisan support was introduced in February to help fund education for service members who had served in active duty since Sept. 11, 2001. Veterans would receive education benefits equaling the highest tuition rate of the most expensive in-state public college or university and a monthly stipend for housing.



The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America hailed Webb’s bill, calling educational benefits “the military's single most effective recruitment tool” and emphasizing that “an expanded GI Bill will play a crucial role in ensuring that our military remains the strongest and most advanced in the world.”

Today, The Hill reports that Webb is still waiting for an important co-sponsor who could help push other Republicans to approve the bill: Sen. John McCain (R-AZ):
"McCain needs to get on the bill," Webb told reporters after a Christian Science Monitor breakfast meeting on Wednesday. He said legislation mirroring the post-World War II GI bill should not be considered a "political issue." […]
Webb's bill has 51 co-sponsors, including nine Republicans. Webb, a former secretary of the Navy, said he may have to get 60 co-sponsors to ensure Senate passage, but then added that many more Republicans could vote for the bill if McCain endorsed it.

McCain prides himself on being “a tireless advocate of our military.” Yet this is hardly the first time that Webb has taken McCain to task when it comes to veterans’ advocacy. In September, McCain refused to support Webb’s bill to ensure service members get adequate time at home between deployments. McCain castigated the effort, declaring he “hoped” Congress would reject the bill because it “would create chaos.”

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close