Sen. Jim Webb (D-VA) is leading the charge on a new “21st Century GI Bill” that will dramatically expand the scope of education assistance provided to returning veterans who served after Sept. 11. While Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) has said he is “obviously committed” to “quality education” for GIs, his support for Webb’s bill has thus far been AWOL. In an interview with the Huffington Post yesterday, Sen. Chuck Hagel (R-NE), who supports the bill, explained McCain’s absence:
“We have talked to John,” Hagel said of the measure, which would remove the buy-in cost for veterans to receive greater education benefits. “John as you know has been involved on other pursuits. He has taken a close look at it, his people are. Both Webb and I had hoped he would get on it. Obviously Obama is on it and Clinton, three out of four Vietnam veterans in the Senate are on it, people like John Warner and James Inhofe are on it.
Indeed, Sens. Barack Obama (D-IL) and Hillary Clinton (D-NY) have both co-sponsored Webb’s bill even though they also have been “involved in other pursuits.”