Politics

Arkansas Congressman Considering G.I. Bill Fix

Rep. Tim Griffin says he wants to end student veterans delays for tuition, rent. The VA says they’re speeding payments after a BuzzFeed report.

Arkansas Republican Rep. Tim Griffin told BuzzFeed he’s looking for ways to end delays have kept tens of thousands of student veterans from receiving their tuition and housing stipends on time, with some facing eviction or being shut out of classes at school.

“The least we could do is have a federal government administration or agency that facilitates [veterans] getting the benefits we’ve promised. It’s a pretty basic concept,” Griffin said.

Griffin criticized the failings of the VA described in a BuzzFeed report last week as “the type of things that happen with massive federal agencies.”

Griffin, an Iraq war veteran and former George Bush campaign aide, praised VA for promising to correct the G.I. Bill backlogs this week, as they did in a statement apparently released in response to BuzzFeed’s story.

But, he said, “we are looking at the legislative side. I’m not willing to say we’re settled on a particular legislative fix, but I’m absolutely willing to introduce legislation if need be.” Griffin, who has sparred in the past with the VA, introduced three G.I. Bill-related pieces of legislation to the House in November 2011.

The issue is of particular interest to his district, Griffin said: “We have doubled up our personnel working on those issues and we have a lot of veterans in our congressional district, so we are very attuned to this issue.”

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