A bipartisan group of legislators have introduced a new bill in hopes of providing GI Bill Benefit parity for members of the National Guard and Reserves.
The Guard and Reserve GI Bill Parity Act of 2021 would expand eligibility for the Post-9/11 GI Bill to count every day that a service member is paid and in uniform toward benefit eligibility.
The bill was introduced by the leaders of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, including the chair, Rep. Mark Takano, D-Calif., and vice chair, Rep. Mike Levin, D-Calif. Rep. Steve Palazzo, R-Miss., and Rep. Nancy Mace, R-S.C., are also behind the bill. Palazzo is a drilling Guardsman.
Lawmakers note that members of the reserve component often train and serve alongside their active counterparts, but do not receive equal benefits.
The bill was first introduced last year but had to be reintroduced into the new Congress. NGAUS has endorsed the legislation.
“The men and women who serve in the Guard and Reserve make incredible sacrifices for our country just like other service members and they deserve equal benefits for doing similar jobs and facing similar risks,” Levin said.
Palazzo said the bill would address disparity and ensure members of the Guard and Reserve receive benefits they rightly earned.
“Individuals serving in the National Guard and Reserve are asked to perform a range of responsibilities similar to their active-duty counterparts, and they deserve to be fairly compensated for their work,” he said.