Oh Joy! I know a week is a long time in political news, but some of you may still recall my mention of the GI Bill for the 21st century. Of course the bill has wide, multi-partisan support. I still, however, hoped for the random kook (Republican, I assumed) to go on record as rejecting veteran's support. I never dreamed that McCain would be the first and has offered counter-legislation of his own.
And why, you may ask? Because the bill is "too generous" and would make soldiers go to college instead of the army.
Yep, he actually said that!
According to congressional advocates Webb, Hagel, Lautenberg, and Warner:
The proponents of this newly-introduced legislation maintain that [our bill] is too generous to today's veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, is too difficult to administer, and would unduly harm the retention of our active duty military people. Each of these assertions is wrong.
And of course a nice little statement from our Democratic nominee:
There is no reason we shouldn’t pass the 21st Century GI Bill that is being debated in Congress right now. It was introduced by my friend Senator Jim Webb, a Marine who served as Navy Secretary under President Ronald Reagan.. His plan has widespread support from Republicans and Democrats. It would provide every returning veteran with a real chance to afford a college education, and it would not harm retention.
I have great respect for John McCain’s service to this country and I know he loves it dearly and honors those who serve. But he is one of the few Senators of either party who oppose this bill because he thinks it’s too generous. I couldn’t disagree more. At a time when the skyrocketing cost of tuition is pricing thousands of Americans out of a college education, we should be doing everything we can to give the men and women who have risked their lives for this country the chance to pursue the American Dream.
Oh lordy, November is going to be fun!