Bill Canceling Disabled Vets’ Student Loans Passes House
Permanently disabled veterans would automatically have their student loan debts canceled under a bill that passed the House on Tuesday.
The Federally Requiring Earned Education-Debt Discharges for Veterans Act (FREED Vets Act) is bipartisan legislation co-introduced by U.S. Reps. Brian Fitzpatrick, R-1, of Middletown, and Conor Lamb, of western Pennsylvania, in June.
“The FREED Vets Act will make student debt forgiveness for eligible disabled veterans automatic, both now and in the future,” Lamb, a Marine Corps veteran, said in a joint statement. “Not a single eligible disabled veteran in America should be forced to live under the weight of student loan debt, and they shouldn’t have to file paperwork or cut through red tape to get the relief they earned through their sacrifices for this country.”
In August, President Donald Trump signed an executive order eliminating student loan debt for disabled veterans. Lamb, however, said at the time that he would continue pushing for the bill because he wanted it codified so that it would remain law no matter who is president.
More than 42,000 veterans are considered eligible for student loan forgiveness, Lamb has said, but just 20 percent have applied for the benefit.
“Disabled veterans face many obstacles when returning home, but this bill will remove the barriers that prevent them from eliminating one of those burdens,” said U.S. Rep. Guy Reschenthaler, of Pennsylvania, a Navy veteran. Congressmen Joe Courteney, D-Connecticut, and Andy Levin, D-Michigan, also joined the bill.
“Our veterans put their lives on the line for our country and they deserve all the help we can provide them,” Fitzpatrick said. “I believe that the least we can do is relieve them of their student loan debt.”