August 3rd, 2009
11:46 AM ET
5 years ago

Obama, veterans celebrate expansion of G.I. bill

FAIRFAX, Virginia (CNN) – President Barack Obama joined hundreds of young veterans marking the implementation of a new "G.I. Bill" on Monday, calling the expanded benefits package part of a "moral obligation to those who sacrificed greatly on our behalf."

The updated version of the famous World War II legislation significantly expand education benefits for men and women who served at least three years in the military after the September 11, 2001, attacks.

It provides as much as a full scholarship at in-state public universities for eligible veterans, service members, reservists, and National Guard members.

The first tuition checks authorized by the measure were mailed on August 1.

The new G.I. legislation, which was signed into law last year, was opposed by many Republicans worried it will deplete retention rates among those currently serving in the military at a time when recruitment efforts are struggling.

Obama, who backed the new benefits package as a senator, celebrated its implementation with a group of student veterans at George Mason University in northern Virginia.


Filed under: President Obama
soundoff (106 Responses)
  1. Sam Sixpack

    BHO didn't sign this into law, GWB did.

    I'm a fan of neither.

    Our system of government provides a mechanism by which the best liar gets elected.

    Why is anyone enthusiastic about being used and abused time and time again?

    We are a nation ruled by the will of millions of gullible idiots.

    Oh, did I mention? If and when you do ever get a job, your taxes will go up.

    August 3, 2009 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  2. Active Duty Democrat

    Yeah isnt that funny? I coulda sworn it was the Republicans that were love wit military and Democrats like Obama want to destroy the military. Yeah..........right...cant wait for the "This cost too much, It'll bankrupt the USA, Obama is a socialist argument"...cmon Repubs where you guys at?

    August 3, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  3. Paul C.

    I think that it is great the the victims..err veterans of our latest military adventure are afforded top quality benefits.
    As a Vietnam vet (2 years) I can't help but be kind of jealous.

    August 3, 2009 01:48 pm at 1:48 pm |
  4. jj12345

    This bill was signed last year, Obama signed on as a Senator not signing it as President.

    August 3, 2009 01:49 pm at 1:49 pm |
  5. alvino

    The phony party of "No!' continues to be wrong on just about everything. They never cared about the troops, it was the big business they were looking out for.

    August 3, 2009 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  6. RealityKing

    Of course..., they still won't be able to find a job in the great Obama depression.

    August 3, 2009 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  7. Democrat in MD (CNN please post. Thank you!)

    Way to go, Mr. President!!

    August 3, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  8. Rick

    You people amaze me... It was singed into law LAST YEAR by GWB, it didn't take effect until this year.

    Obuma had nothing to do with this bill except ride on its coat tails and try and claim credit for it.

    Again, quality reporting from CNN... They neglect to mention that the original version of this bill was crap and that is why so many Reps opposed it. It was the revised version that eventually passed.

    August 3, 2009 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
  9. Nelson Colorado Springs Co.

    Good job Mr. President Obama

    August 3, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  10. Marc

    Dave, Central Illinois – He WORKED for it, the previous president and his Party's candidate for presidency worked AGAINST it.
    So who's taking credit for other's people job?

    August 3, 2009 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  11. S Callahan

    Congratulations....this was a good move...and if you think back to the 'old' days this education incentive is what stirred lots of men (now also woman) to enter the service....it was long overdue.

    August 3, 2009 02:11 pm at 2:11 pm |
  12. John in the Burgh

    This law discriminates against Guard and Reserve soldiers, many of whom have been deployed more often than their active duty counterparts. It requires continued service in the Reserve Component to be able to pass along the balanace of earned benefits to your children - a retention tool that is unfair to the troops.

    The person who wrote this article should be fired for editorializing. As is usually the case with any piece of legislation (for both sides) some Republicans opposed it initially because some Democrats tried to pile on a bunch of unrelated legislation.

    The President had little to do with this law being passed, but I'm glad he supports(ed) it, as he well should.

    August 3, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  13. Alan

    As a veteran I can't understand why EVERYONE isn't standing up and applauding the President's initiative with this long-overdue G.I Bill.
    However, as a VIET NAM veteran I can't help but wonder why when there are so many 'Nam vets reliving that horror there's no help for them.

    August 3, 2009 02:12 pm at 2:12 pm |
  14. charlie in Maine

    The Democrat's lack of organization and cohesion is a source of frustration for me. I think it is mostly because I know that when they get it together and follow through that things really do get better. I hope this will happen for healthcare. It's great to see it happen for the Veterans.

    No party is perfect but I have to be in a party that supports our solders all the way (not just when providing their service)

    August 3, 2009 02:15 pm at 2:15 pm |
  15. ron

    Wow - a tax and spend, socialist, pro-gay rights, elitist, racist, pro diplomacy idiot passed this in support of our troops?

    Economy improving?

    Maybe, just maybe well we have healthcare for all in the US soon.

    Great job President Obama!

    God bless the USA!

    August 3, 2009 02:17 pm at 2:17 pm |
  16. johns

    all I can say is: Thank you Mr. President for your leadership.

    GOD Bless you.

    GOD Bless the United States of America.

    August 3, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  17. Working Class American

    What???!!!! Expansion of another Socialist program???!!!! Where's the good old outrage from the GOP????!!!!

    And by the way, awaitingliberalizationbyCNN . . . they did not announce that they are " planning on raising all of our taxes" That is simply an un-truth, which makes your "diagnosis that he was lying from the moment he opened his mouth" idiotic..

    August 3, 2009 02:19 pm at 2:19 pm |
  18. G

    The GI bill is great! I applaud this approach. These soldiers work hard for us and risk their life. How about with take money out of the welfare program with lazy people take advantage of our good will and transfer that money to the GI bill program where brave young men and women earn these benefits.

    August 3, 2009 02:23 pm at 2:23 pm |
  19. Change in America

    Great Job President Obama

    August 3, 2009 02:24 pm at 2:24 pm |
  20. Cali J

    A Bush bill that you left wing nuts and Obama want credit for. Get the facts before you spout your hate.

    August 3, 2009 02:31 pm at 2:31 pm |
  21. Franco

    Guess Obama now can use his new GI BIll to further his education!! Or wait, he never served, but chose Harvard instead! Ar eal patriot!!

    August 3, 2009 02:38 pm at 2:38 pm |
  22. army193

    Well done Sir.

    August 3, 2009 02:40 pm at 2:40 pm |
  23. Deep Throat

    This is the way REPUBLICANS want to NOT REPAY our veterans BY NOT giving them an incentive to serve their country. Instead they believe it will cause retention losses. This is the reason a republican does not need to be in office. Your lower than whale dung with that kind of physology. Stupid is as stupid was. THIS GI BILL WILL CREATE NEW ENLISTMENTS WITH YOUNGER PEOPLE. PEOPLE THAT MAKE OUR ARMY STRONGER.

    August 3, 2009 02:45 pm at 2:45 pm |
  24. drman

    If Palin opens her mouth negatively about this, her son should not receive any new G.I. Bill benefits. She can pay for his education with her PAC and Book $$. McCain also should have all his G.I. Bill benefits revoked. His druggie wife can support him thru his current dementia phase of his life.
    Word to Rethugs: Get on Board and help, or get the Hell Off !

    August 3, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  25. bsmith171

    why didn't obama serve in the military?

    August 3, 2009 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
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