Buchanan Bill to Help Student Veterans Approved by House VA Committee

Press Release

Date: April 6, 2022
Location: Washington, DC

Congressman Vern Buchanan today announced that his legislation, the Veterans Eligible to Transfer School (VETS) Credit Act, was unanimously approved by the House Veterans Affairs Committee and has received key endorsements from several of the nation's leading veterans organizations.

The VETS Credit Act, H.R.6604, would help student veterans by ensuring they are able to quickly and easily transfer their course credits to another institution should their school close or program end suddenly.

"America's veterans have selflessly sacrificed and put it all on the line to defend our country and our way of life," said Buchanan. "I'm pleased to see the House Veterans Affairs Committee approve my VETS Credit Act and move it one step closer to becoming law. My bill will ensure no veteran loses access to the valuable G.I. Bill credits they have earned and deserve by virtue of their service to our country."

While current law requires the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to restore G.I. Bill benefits (up to 12 credits) to eligible student veterans whose schools close or program ends in the middle of a semester, the process can be very confusing and oftentimes leaves veterans unable to easily transfer their earned credits to a new school.

Buchanan is working closely with the House Veterans Affairs Committee and is hopeful his legislation will see full House passage later this year.

House Veterans Affairs Committee Republican Leader Mike Bost (R-Ill.) praised Buchanan's bill and said, "No veteran whose school closes in the middle of the semester should have to worry about how they will finish their degree. Rep. Buchanan's bill, the VETS Credit Act, will give student veterans the peace of mind to know that their education benefits are safe even if their school closes. I thank my friend for his work on this important bill. I look forward to seeing it passed in the House as soon as possible."

Specifically, Buchanan's bill would require the VA to work with students and explain the school credit transfer process and to provide them with a certificate of eligibility from the VA providing proof of their restored benefits.

The VETS Credit Act has been endorsed by Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America (IAVA), Disabled American Veterans (DAV), and Veterans Education Success (VES).

IAVA CEO Jeremy Butler said, "The Veterans Eligible to Transfer School (VETS) Credit Act will guarantee that affected veterans can easily transfer their course credits to another institution if that happens thereby avoiding the unnecessary loss of benefits."

DAV Deputy National Legislative Director Shane Liermann said, "DAV supports H.R. 6604, the VETS Credit Act, as it would require VA to explain restoration of lost credits for Post 9/11 GI Bill, Dependents Education Assistance and Veteran Readiness & Employment programs to veterans, their dependents and survivors. We applaud Representative Buchanan's commitment to the improvement and protection of VA education programs."

William Hubbard, vice president for veteran and military policy at Veterans Education Success, said, "We thank Congressman Buchanan for championing this bipartisan solution for student veterans. When facing the difficult situation of a closed school, it's already tough enough, and we applaud this legislation for making it easier for student veterans to know what their options are to get back on track with their academic goals."

Buchanan has a strong record of fighting for veterans and military families. In December, a Buchanan measure to reduce military training accidents following the death of Bradenton soldier Nicolas Panipinto was enacted into law. Buchanan has also re-introduced the Veterans Overmedication and Suicide Prevention Act, which requires the VA to study the link between addictive opioids and the alarmingly high rate of suicides among veterans.