Bush expected to sign new GI bill

By Tom Philpott: CNJ columnist

With Congress adding a $1 billion-a-year transferability feature, President Bush has dropped his opposition to the extraordinary Webb GI Bill initiative and is prepared to sign it into law as early as this month.

Known also as the Post-9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008, the new GI Bill will deliver to current service members, to many recently separated veterans and to oft-deployed Reserve and Guard members an education benefit never envisioned for an all-volunteer force.

Approved as part of a wartime budget supplemental (HR 2642), the Webb’s plan is a far richer benefit than the Montgomery GI Bill, but MGIB benefits also will climb, by 20 percent, almost immediately. This will ensure that veterans attending school this fall receive some swift help with education costs.