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December 08, 2021

Trone, Takano, Levin Bill to Protect Education Benefits for Student Veterans During COVID-19 Passes the U.S. House of Representatives

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

December 8, 2021

Contact: Sasha Galbreath, Sasha.Galbreath@mail.house.gov 

Trone, Takano, Levin Bill to Protect Education Benefits for Student Veterans During COVID-19 Passes the U.S. House of Representatives

Rep. Trone urges lawmakers to pass the REMOTE Learning Act. Watch his full speech here

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, Representative David Trone (MD-06) applauded the passage of the Responsible Education Mitigating Options and Technical Extensions (REMOTE) Act, which he introduced alongside Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Mark Takano (CA-41) and Economic Opportunity Subcommittee Chairman Mike Levin (CA-49). The Act will protect education benefits for veterans amid the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.

By law, the Department of Veterans Affairs is required to make significant cuts to the housing benefits afforded to student veterans who are taking classes remotely. As student veterans transitioned to online coursework during the pandemic, many remained in campus housing during shelter-in-place orders. Nonetheless, under the existing law, these students lost their housing benefits. In response, Congress took action to prevent cuts to veterans’ benefits as higher education institutions continued remote learning. The REMOTE Act will preserve this modification through June 2022. 

“The REMOTE Act ensures that student veterans receive the education benefits they need during an ever-changing and evolving pandemic,” said Congressman Trone, Member of the House Veterans’ Affairs Committee. “I applaud my colleagues in the House for supporting this important legislation to protect the benefits of those who served our country. I want to thank Chairman Takano and Chairman Levin for their leadership. Together, we are giving student veterans a greater opportunity to achieve academic success.” 

“When schools rightly shifted their classes online due to the pandemic, many student veterans saw a major reduction in housing benefits,” said Chairman Takano. “Last year, we passed my emergency Student Veteran Coronavirus Response Act to ensure these veterans could access their full benefits, but as it is set to expire this month, it is clear that more relief is needed. That is why I am so pleased the House of Representatives passed Rep. Trone’s REMOTE Act today to ensure that our student veterans don’t lose the critical housing benefits they have earned. I want to thank Rep. Trone for leading this effort to safeguard student veterans’ benefits during this pandemic.”

“While we’ve made a lot of progress in getting this virus under control, many veterans continue to take classes online due to the pandemic and need the protections in this legislation in order to continue their studies,” said Rep. Levin. “At a time when we are trying to keep veterans housed and encourage them to pursue a higher education, the last thing we can afford is to let these protections expire and risk derailing their studies or, even worse, forcing them out of their homes. I’m encouraged to see our bill pass the House today to protect student veterans’ benefits and I’m optimistic we can get it to President Biden’s desk soon.”

For bill text, click here.

For bill summary, click here.

14 Veterans Service Organizations including the American Council on Education, the American Legion, Association of Jesuit Colleges and Universities, Association of Public and Land-grant Universities, Disabled American Veterans, Student Veterans of America, NAFSA: Association of International Educators, National Association of College and University Business Officers, National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, National Association of State Approving Agencies, National Association of Veterans Program Administrators, Tragedy Assistance for Survivors, Veterans Education Success, and Veterans of Foreign Wars. 

Congressman David Trone was elected to the House of Representatives in November 2018 to serve the 6th District of Maryland, which includes all or part of Montgomery, Frederick, Washington, Allegany, and Garrett Counties. Trone serves on the Appropriations, Veterans’ Affairs, and Joint Economic Committees in the 117th Congress. In Congress, Trone is fighting to make progress on issues that matter to Marylanders, including the mental health and addiction crises, criminal justice reform, and funding for medical research.

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