WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congressman Scott Fitzgerald (WI-05) was joined by House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs Ranking Member Mike Bost (IL-12) to introduce the Vaccine Discharge Parity Act.
This legislation would amend Title 38, U.S. Code, to ensure that a member of the Armed Forces who receives a general discharge under honorable conditions on the sole basis of refusing the COVID-19 vaccine remains eligible for G.I. Bill education benefits.
“Those who have fought to defend our country should never be deprived of the benefits they so rightly deserve,” said Congressman Fitzgerald. “Unfortunately, President Biden’s vaccine mandate on our Armed Forces threatens to strip education benefits from thousands of servicemembers for refusing to comply with a divisive, and potentially unlawful, vaccine mandate. I’m proud to introduce the Vaccine Discharge Parity Act to ensure that our nation’s most honorable men and women can utilize the education benefits they have worked so hard to earn.”
“I am proud to support my friend, Rep. Fitzgerald’s, Vaccine Discharge Parity Act to make sure that no servicemember loses their GI bill benefits for refusing to get vaccinated against COVID-19,” said Ranking Member Bost. “I thank him for his efforts to support the men and women who have served.”
In the FY22 National Defense Authorization Act, Congress included a provision limiting discharges for failure to receive the COVID-19 vaccine to either: a) an honorable discharge; or b) a general discharge under honorable conditions.
Servicemembers who receive a general discharge under honorable conditions are ineligible for both Montgomery and Post-9/11 G.I. Bill education benefits.
Read the full bill text.