Community Issues

PA Congressmen Introduce Plan to Forgive Veterans' Student Debt

The bipartisan plan would eliminate paperwork, red tape that hinders eligible veterans.

Three Pennsylvania Congressmen have introduced a bill in the House to wipe out student debt for disabled veterans.

The bipartisan Federally Requiring Earned Education-Debt Discharges for Veterans Act (FREED Vets Act) is sponsored by Rep. Conor Lamb (D-PA), Guy Reschenthaler (R-PA) and Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA).

If passed, the bill would require the U.S. Department of Education to automatically discharge federal student loan debt for permanently disabled veterans. According to a release from Rep. Lamb's office, more than 42,000 eligible veterans have been identified by the Department of Education, yet only 20 percent of those eligible have applied for the program . Sponsors say the FREED Vets Act will eliminate the paperwork that keeps many of these veterans in debt.

Rep. Lamb (D-PA) meets with a disabled veteran

."Congress has an obligation to ease the challenges our veterans face when they come home and return to civilian life," said Lamb, a marine veteran himself. "This important bipartisan legislation provides a clear pathway for eligible disabled veterans to receive a benefit they have earned through their service and sacrifice."

"Our nation's veterans have sacrificed immensely for our freedom and way of life," said Fitzpatrick. "It is unacceptable that many disabled veterans continue to be saddled with high levels of student debt."

A Senate version of the bill has also been introduced by Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Johnny Isakson (R-GA).

You can click here to contact your member of Congress, and share your thoughts on the FREED Vets Act.

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