Kiggans Bill to Expand GI Bill Passes U.S. House

May 24, 2023

WASHINGTON, DC: Today, Congresswoman Jen Kiggans (VA-02) announced that the Filipino Education Fairness Act of 2023 passed the House as part of H.R. 1669, the VET-TEC Authorization Act of 2023. Kiggans’ bill would amend title 38 of the United States Code to allow veterans and their families to use the full breadth of their GI Bill benefits to pay for education in the Republic of the Philippines.

“We are blessed to have a large and diverse Filipino population in Southeast Virginia, many of whom have honorably served our country,” said Congresswoman Kiggans. “It is wrong to prevent them from receiving their GI Bill benefits simply because they chose to seek educational opportunities in the Philippines. I was proud to introduce legislation to ensure all veterans can receive the education benefits they earned and am honored to see it passed out of the House. As a veteran I will always fight to improve the lives of our nation’s heroes!”

“The VFW supports the Filipino Education Fairness Act to provide parity for beneficiaries of the Survivors’ and Dependents’ Educational Assistance program (Chapter 35) at institutions in the Philippines. We believe VA beneficiaries should have parity in as many cases as practical. Specifically, Chapter 35 recipients utilizing this benefit in the Philippines are provided only fifty percent of the rate compared to beneficiaries in the United States. This is not even equitable with other beneficiaries who utilize this program outside the continental United States. Recipients in other countries around the world receive the same benefit as everyone else. The inequitable delivery of this benefit to recipients in the Philippines should be corrected,” said Pat Murray, VFW National Legislative Service Director.


Under current law (subsection (d) of 38 U.S. Code § 3532), the educational allowance for eligible individuals pursing programs of education at institutions in the Republic of the Philippines is paid at a rate of $0.50 for every dollar of allowance that would be awarded in the United States. By striking subsection (d), the Filipino Education Fairness Act ensures that veterans and other eligible individuals attending educational institutions in the Philippines receive the full amount of educational assistance that they qualify for under the G.I. Bill. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office estimates that roughly 500 beneficiaries each year would receive an additional $4,200.

Today, about 4.1 million Filipino Americans make up the second-largest Asian American ethnic group in the United States. Hampton Roads is home to a Filipino population of nearly 30,000 people.

The full text of the bill is available here.


Recent Posts

Jun 10, 2024

Kiggans, Colleagues Work to Keep Shoreline Communities Safe

WASHINGTON, DC: Today, Congresswoman Jen Kiggans (VA-02) announced she has joined Congressman Greg Murphy (NC-03) in introducing the Prevent Environmental Hazards Act, legislation that would expand the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to cover long-term erosion and advance collapse payments.  The Commonwealth of Virginia is regularly struck by hurricanes and tropical storms, with shoreline communities being deeply […]

Jun 5, 2024

Kiggans Votes to Fully Fund Veteran Health Care, Improve Military Housing 

WASHINGTON, DC: Today, Congresswoman Jen Kiggans (VA-02) released the below statement following the passage of H.R. 8580, the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2025, which passed the U.S. House of Representatives by a vote of 209-197. This legislation fully funds Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care programs and benefits and provides robust […]

May 24, 2024

Kiggans Applauds Committee Passage of FY25 NDAA

Legislation includes historic quality of life investments WASHINGTON, DC: Today, Congresswoman Jen Kiggans (VA-02) released the following statement applauding the passage of H.R. 8070, the Servicemember Quality of Life Improvement Act and National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2025 (FY25), out of the House Armed Services Committee. The legislation, which passed by an overwhelmingly […]