House Bill HR 476 Put Forth by the Federal Veterans Administration Cuts GI Bill Benefits For Flight Training
House Bill H.R. 476, deceptively named “GI Bill Education Quality Enhancement Act of 2015” is proposed legislation that will place an unreasonable cap on ALL flight training benefits covered by the Veterans Administration.
Currently, thousands of U.S. Military Veterans are using the GI Bill benefits they’ve earned to pursue careers in aviation as airplane and helicopter pilots.
Proposed VA Limits Place Devastating Cap on Veterans’ Benefits
Proposed legislation in front of Congress would place a devastating cap on Veteran’s yearly benefits, not only asphyxiating flight training for our U.S. Military Veterans, but also having a destructive impact on the future of the aviation industry as a whole.
Bill Would Affect the Entire Aviation Industry
In addition to our Veterans losing out, collateral damage will occur to flight schools, aircraft manufacturers, airlines, and contractors – an entire industry.
H.R. 476 was proposed in reaction to the rising costs of flight training for Veterans using their VA benefits. However, instead of proposing reasonable flight training limitations within which Veterans can continue to become career pilots, this Bill offers ridiculously low caps on ALL aviation training; eliminating the possibility for any Veteran to achieve this goal. These caps won’t even cover fuel costs! Moreover, the Bill is basically telling our Veterans they can use their GI Bill benefits for any degree program they want, just NOT FLIGHT TRAINING.
Why Is the Bill Targeting Aviation?
This is clearly discriminatory. Why not cap all educational programs for Veterans? How much does it cost to become an engineer, veterinarian, or doctor?
STOP H.R. 476 Effort Launched – READ-SIGN-SHARE
Recently, an online effort was launched to Stop H.R. 476 via the website “Petition 2 Congress”. As of March 23, 2015, the petition to Stop H.R. 476 generated over 3,500 letters to Congress and the White House. If you visit “Stop H.R. 476” petition page, you can read thousands comments from petitioners.
Congressional Mark-Up Session
The Bill goes to “mark-up” on April 16, 2015. That means congressional leaders will be finalizing the Bill to go to vote. Before that happens, our industry needs to educate the Bill’s sponsors as well our own State Representatives and industry leaders.
HERE ARE FOUR THINGS TO DO NOW:
- Read, Sign, and SHARE the Petition.
- Contact the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association (AOPA)
- Contact Helicopter Association International (HAI), Goverment Affairs
- Write your State Representative
- If you have a website, here is code to add a STOP HR 476 sign-up widget
to your website:<iframe frameborder=”0″ scrolling=”no” height=”360px”
Below are just a few of the thousands of petitions:
“This bill is misguided. Flight training allowances should be appropriately managed by the VA and indexed to well-known aviation industry standards, NOT arbitrarily capped at some inadequate level as this bill seeks to do. Stop HR 476!”
“flying is my dream, I served in the army because I was told that I would be able to use the GI BILL for flight training, please don’t take that away from me. I don’t not want this Bill to be passed.”
“American Veterans made a commitment to America. America made a commitment to our Veterans. The VA committed funding to current Veterans enrolled in degree granting programs, Professional Pilot. It is patently unfair to these Veterans to pull the rug out from under them in midstream to a program they have every right to expect the VA and Congress to honor it’s obligation to them.”
“A deals a deal; I held my end of it by putting my life on the line in Afghanistan along with my fellow Marines. It is outrageous that Congress would even think about cutting the benefits that so many Veterans have earned.”