Rep. Mike Levin’s Bill to Protect Education Benefits for Veterans During COVID-19 Passes the U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. — Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed Rep. Mike Levin’s (D-CA) Responsible Education Mitigating Options and Technical Extensions (REMOTE) Act, which he introduced with Rep. David Trone (D-MD) and Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Mark Takano (D-CA). The bill will protect education benefits for veterans amid the challenges brought by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Many veterans stood to lose a significant portion of their education benefits when their classes were interrupted. For example, the law requires the Department of Veterans Affairs to make significant cuts to the housing benefits afforded to student veterans who are taking classes remotely, even though many student veterans transitioned to online coursework during the pandemic. Others were unable to continue classes at all and faced the expiration of their benefits. Meanwhile, student veterans working on campus through VA’s work study program were poised to lose income as physical locations closed. In response, Congress took action to provide flexibility and prevent cuts to veterans’ benefits. The REMOTE Act will preserve these modifications, which are otherwise scheduled to expire on December 21, through June 2022.
“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 encouraging 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.”
“The REMOTE Act ensures that student veterans receive the education benefits they need during an ever-changing and evolving pandemic,” said Rep. Trone. “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.”
This legislation has been endorsed by the American Legion, Disabled Veterans of America (DAV), National Association of Veterans’ Program Administrators (NAVPA), Veterans Education Success (VES), and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW).