Senator Jim Webb (D-VA) has put together a new GI Bill that updates and upgrades the current bill, which today wouldn't get a veteran through a four-year state university. With the help of 26 Republicans, some of whom are vulnerable in November, Webb has a veto-proof bill that has among its detractors President Bush, the Pentagon, and one John McCain.
The major issue is the fact that this generous aid package gives benefits to those who serve a single three-year term in the military. Opponents say that it discourages men and women from making the military a career. But proponents are calling that bullshit, since any man or woman who signs up for a three-year stint today will serve one or two tours in a war zone. These veterans deserve whatever we can give them. And in Webb's day, a Vietnam vet only needed a single year of duty to qualify for a GI Bill that at least paid for something.
The bill also includes $10 billion in spending to extend unemployment benefits and other aid for victims of hurricanes in the Gulf States.
A big win for the Dems, and a feather in the cap for Webb, who might possibly ascend to VP should Obama select him as his running mate.