Durbin, D. Davis, Underwood Mark Senate Passage Of Veteran Rapid Retraining Assistance Program Restoration And Recovery Act

The bill, once passed by the House, will restore pandemic education benefits to veterans defrauded by for-profit colleges

WASHINGTON U.S. Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-IL) and U.S. Representatives Danny Davis (D-IL-07) and Lauren Underwood (D-IL-14) today marked Senate passage of their legislation, the Veteran Rapid Retraining Assistance Program Restoration Act (S. 4089).  The bill passed the Senate last night by voice vote.


Once passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, the bill would give the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) authority to restore benefits under the American Rescue Plan’s Veteran Rapid Retraining Assistance Program (VRRAP) to veterans whose education is interrupted by their school’s closure or loss of eligibility. It also gives VA the authority to recoup federal dollars from the fraudulent school. The legislation would help more than 300 Illinois veterans who were scammed out of their benefits by the unaccredited, for-profit Future Tech Career Institute in Chicago.  VRRAP was created by the American Rescue Plan to help veterans gain new skills to meet changing workforce demands during the pandemic.


“During the pandemic, Congress created the Veteran Rapid Retraining Assistance Program to help veterans get the skills they need to get good jobs. Unfortunately, we have seen at least one example where a for-profit college took advantage of this program to line its own pockets at the expense of veterans and taxpayers,” said Durbin. “Our veterans deserve better. I introduced this bill to give student veterans a second chance at their education and give taxpayers the ability to recover lost funds. I urge the House to quickly pass this bill to deliver relief to Illinois student veterans and those across the country.” 


“Veterans served our country with honor and earned their Rapid Retraining Assistance education benefits,” said Davis. “I am proud to work with Senator Durbin and Representative Underwood to restore these benefits to students who attended institutions that closed or experienced a disapproval of educational programming. I applaud the Senate for passing the Veterans Rapid Retraining Assistance Program Restoration and Recovery Act, and I will work with House leadership to pass this important bill with the urgency required to help veterans.”


“We need to provide VA with the authority to ensure that no veteran is denied the benefits they have earned as they pursue post-military education,” said Underwood. “As a member of the House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, I am honored to be working with Senator Durbin and Representative Danny Davis on the Veterans Rapid Retraining Assistance Restoration and Recovery Act, which will restore important education benefits to veterans who have been ripped off by unaccredited institutions. I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House to get this bill passed and signed into law.”