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New GI Bill Restoration Act Would Extend Benefits to Families of Black WWII Vets

New GI Bill Restoration Act Would Extend Benefits to Families of Black WWII Vets

Democratic legislators have proposed a new measure known as the GI Bill Restoration Act intended to address historical discrimination against Black veterans, according to NBC News.

Commonly associated with postwar growth of the U.S. middle class, the original GI Bill – officially the Servicemen’s Readjustment Act of 1944 – aimed to help World War II veterans by providing tuition assistance, unemployment benefits, and government-backed home and business loans. However, the actual implementation thereof effectively denied Black veterans the same economic advantages afforded to their white counterparts.

The racist policies and exclusionary practices of the time have continued to plague subsequent generations of Black families since the bill took effect nearly 80 years ago.

“It is important to acknowledge this injustice and help address the wealth gap that was exacerbated by the government’s failure to fulfill this promise to World War II veterans of color,” said House majority whip and GI Bill Restoration Act sponsor Jim Clyburn (D-SC).

Senator Raphael Warnock (D-GA) and Rep. Seth Moulton (D-MA) are also spearheading the new legislation, which would make direct descendants and surviving spouses of Black World War II veterans eligible for educational resources, the VA Loan Guaranty Program, and more.

“Racial inequity in how the immense benefits of the original GI Bill were disbursed are well-documented, and we’ve all seen how these inequities have trickled down over time, leaving Black World War II veterans and their families without what they earned through service and sacrifice,” Senator Warnock said.

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