News Releases

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Isakson, Chambliss Praise Passage of Iraq Spending Bill Without Timeline for Withdrawal of Troops
Bill Also Enhances Education Benefits for Veterans

WASHINGTON - U.S. Senators Johnny Isakson, R-Ga., and Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., today praised the Senate's passage of legislation to provide funds for American troops without setting timelines for U.S. troop withdrawals in Iraq.

"It is absolutely wrong to tie the money to support our troops to arbitrary timetables that have nothing to do with success or failure on the ground," Isakson said. "I'm pleased this bill supports our men and women in uniform, who are deployed in defense of freedom, and gives them everything they deserve and everything they need to accomplish their mission."

"Our nation has an obligation to our servicemen and women who make tremendous sacrifices every day for freedom and democracy," said Chambliss.  "They deserve our fullest support and we must give them the resources they need to carry out their duties.  Passing this bill with a surrender date would have simply emboldened the enemy and I'm pleased that the final version of the bill does not include restrictions that would have hampered our military's ability to do their job."

The legislation also included language to increase educational benefits to all members of the military who have served on active duty since September 11, 2001, including activated reservists and National Guard. To qualify, veterans must have served at least three to 36 months of qualified active duty, with at least 30 days being served after September 11, 2001.

"The Montgomery G.I. Bill can change lives. It has given countless members of our military access to the college education they otherwise would not have been able to afford," said Isakson, a member of the Senate Veteran's Affairs Committee. "Our nation's military and their families have sacrificed tremendously so that our nation can live in freedom. It is important we modernize education benefits for our military to ensure that our servicemembers, veterans and members of the National Guard and Reserve receive the education benefits they deserve."

"This legislation will greatly expand educational benefits available to servicemembers," said Chambliss.  "Many servicemen and women would not be able to go to college without the G.I. bill and I'm pleased this legislation modernizes the bill to reflect today's costs of education."