June 19, 2001
Administration supports improvements to the Montgomery GI Bill (MGIB)
education assistance program such as are provided by H.R. 1291 if
they can be accommodated within the overall budget limits agreed to
by the President and Congress. The Administration strongly supports
the MGIB benefits program because of its great importance to veterans
and the Nation.
H.R. 1291 would increase the basic monthly benefit for eligible veterans and active-duty personnel in the MGIB-Active Duty program from $650 today to $800 in FY 2002, $950 in FY 2003, and $1,100 in FY 2004. Subsequently, the annual cost-of-living adjustment would be reinstated. Improvements to the MGIB program like these would make it easier for veterans to afford a higher education and would serve as important recruiting tools for the military services.
Any law that would increase direct spending is subject to the pay-as-you-go requirements of the Balanced Budget and Emergency Deficit Control Act. Accordingly, H.R. 1291, which would increase direct spending by approximately $250 million in FY 2002 and by $8.3 billion over ten years, or any substitute amendment in lieu thereof, that would also increase direct spending, will be subject to the pay-as-you-go requirement. The Administration will work with Congress to ensure that any unintended sequester of spending does not occur under current law or the enactment of any other proposals that meet the President's objectives to reduce the debt, fund priority initiatives, and grant tax relief to all income tax paying Americans.