On Thursday, May 21, 2015, Rep. Brad Wenstrop (R-Ohio) plans to sneak into a larger bill an amendment that would severely limit veterans’ funding for flight-training degree programs.
Show your support for our veterans: contact the heads of the Veterans’ Affairs Committee TODAY to prevent the inclusion of amendments that restrict GI benefits for flight training. Then forward this email TODAY to every friend and colleague who wants to ensure that our veterans receive the benefits promised them for their service.
Tell Reps. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) and Corrine Brown (D-Fla.), who lead the committee as chairman and ranking member, to exclude the language of H.R. 476 from the legislation they’ll consider at a hearing tomorrow, Thursday, May 21, at10:30 am Eastern Time. Ironically, the two represent districts in Jacksonville and Pensacola, which host two of the largest U.S. naval installations in the country, where many helicopter units are based.
- Jeff Miller can be contacted at 202-225-4136 orhttp://jeffmiller.house.gov. Much of the support for eliminating flight training has come from the Republican side of the aisle.
- Corrine Brown has generally been supportive of efforts to maintain veterans’ benefits but needs to know the depth of opposition to H.R. 476. Her office phone number is 202-225-0123.
In your communications with their offices, consider making the following points:
- Do not allow amendments that restrict GI benefits for flight training to be added to any bill considered by the Veterans’ Affairs Committee
- Exclude H.R. 476 from the package of bills under consideration at tomorrow’s(Thursday) markup session, and do not roll it into H.R. 475
- Do not cut veterans’ benefits or discriminate against veterans by eliminating payment for flight-training degree programs; treat all veteran college-degree programs at public institutions equally
- Allow the Veterans Administration’s renewed emphasis on existing regulations to take effect, and let the market forces play out
- Order a Government Accountability Office (GAO) study on the costs and requirements necessary for veterans to obtain employable status as commercial helicopter pilots.
Many veterans currently working toward their commercial pilot licenses matriculated based upon the promise of full tuition benefits for pilot training after completing their active-duty service. Cutting GI benefits for flight training is a disservice to our nation’s veterans and will exacerbate the deteriorating pool of commercial pilots, thereby accelerating the pilot shortage in this country.
Helping veterans train to employable status leads to well-paying jobs for those vets — jobs that serve society’s needs, whether in law enforcement, firefighting, helicopter air ambulance, or vital industries such as petroleum production, power distribution, and construction.
As a member of the helicopter industry and/or the veteran community, please contact Reps. Miller and Brown TODAY. We need to make sure our voices are heard in the halls of Congress. If you would like to learn more about this issue, please read this letter to Reps. Miller and Brown from the general aviation associations.
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