On Thursday, President Trump signed the Forever GI Bill Housing Payment Fulfillment Act into law, speeding up IT modernization efforts at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).
The legislation, which was cosponsored by Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, and John Boozman, R-Ark., tackles concerns that the Department of Veterans Affairs VA is missing or underpaying GI benefits to student veterans–a concern that VA officials blamed on outdated legacy IT. Specifically, the legislation requires the VA to form a “tiger team” tasked with developing new software that ensures proper payment of monthly student housing stipends. The tiger team must submit its final report to Congress by July 1, 2020.
“I’m pleased that President Trump signed this bill into law to protect veterans who rely on this benefit,” Boozman said in a statement. “There’s simply no excuse for failing to fully deliver the housing benefits that GI bill recipients are owed. I will continue to use congressional oversight to make certain VA’s errors do not go uncorrected.”
The legislation was also cosponsored by Sens. Jon Tester, D-Mont.; Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn.; Thom Tillis, R-N.C.; Jerry Moran, R-Kan.; Joe Manchin, D-W.V.; Michael Bennet D-Colo.; Mark Warner, D-Va.; Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich.; and Maggie Hassan, D-N.H.