McCain Declares He’s ‘Obviously Committed’ To ‘Quality Education’ For GIs, But Still AWOL On GI Bill

On his first day in the Senate in January 2007, Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) introduced a new GI bill to dramatically expand the scope of education assistance provided to returning veterans who served after Sept. 11.

A year later, on March 20, The Hill reported that Webb was still seeking Sen. John McCain’s (R-AZ) support for his new bipartisan plan, S. 22 (H.R. 2707), a “21st Century GI Bill.” “McCain needs to get on the bill,” Webb said.

The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America hailed the expansion of education benefits as “the military’s single most effective recruitment tool.” So why, four days after the Hill article, was McCain still clueless on the details of Webb’s bill?

I have not had the chance to examine it carefully. It seems to me that it is a good thing to do. But I haven’t examined the bill with the care that it needs. … Obviously we want to make sure that every veteran who comes back from serving their country has the ability to receive a quality education. And I’m obviously committed to that.

VoteVets and Brave New Films have teamed up to produce this short video of soldiers expressing the need for a new GI bill. Watch it:

In a statement to the Huffington Post today, Webb said he had emphasized to McCain “several times that this is not a political issue” — it is “a no-brainer,” as he says in a video on his website.

Webb’s bill currently has 50 co-sponsors. As Webb pointed out in March, “many more Republicans could vote for the bill if McCain endorsed it.” Sign a petition here.