Lawmakers reach initial deal for biggest expansion of GI education bill in decade

WASHINGTON (AP) – Congressional Republicans and Democrats have reached initial agreement on the biggest expansion of college aid for military veterans in a decade.

It would remove a 15-year time limit to tap into benefits and boost money for thousands in the National Guard and Reserve.

The deal being announced Thursday is a sweeping effort to fill gaps in the post-9/11 GI Bill amid a rapidly changing job market. It builds on legislation passed in 2008 that guaranteed a full-ride scholarship to any in-state public university, or the equivalent payout for a private school.

Veterans would get additional payments for completing science and engineering courses. House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy said the House will act this month on the bill, calling it the “first phase to get the whole VA system working again.”

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