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H.R. 3218 (115th): Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017

About the bill

A 2008 law nicknamed the ‘Post-9/11 GI Bill’ has helped pay for more than 1 million veterans and their children to attend college or vocational school since its passage. A new law nicknamed the ‘Forever GI Bill’ updates that legislation for the modern era, expanding many provisions and changing some of the rules.

What the bill does

Among five of the law’s most notable provisions:

  • There’s no longer an expiration date for veterans to use its benefits. Previously, veterans had to utilize the benefits within 15 years of their last time in military service.
  • More veterans and children of veterans will be eligible for the Yellow Ribbon Program, created in 2008 and used by 1.4 million people since its inception to help pay for college. The law will …

Sponsor and status

David “Phil” Roe

Sponsor. Representative for Tennessee's 1st congressional district. Republican.

Read Text »
Last Updated: Aug 5, 2017
Length: 27 pages
Jul 13, 2017
115th Congress (2017–2019)

Enacted — Signed by the President on Aug 16, 2017

This bill was enacted after being signed by the President on August 16, 2017.

Pub.L. 115-48

121 Cosponsors (85 Democrats, 36 Republicans)


Position statements

What legislators are saying

PHOTOS & VIDEO: Rep. Tulsi Gabbard Joins Panel Discussion on Empowering Veterans in the New Economy
    — Rep. Tulsi Gabbard [D-HI2, 2013-2020] (Co-sponsor) on Nov 30, 2017

Scott Statement on the Signing of the Forever G.I. Bill into Law by President Trump
    — Rep. Robert “Bobby” Scott [D-VA3] (Co-sponsor) on Aug 17, 2017

Working for Local Veterans
    — Rep. Raul Ruiz [D-CA36] on Aug 7, 2018

More statements at ProPublica Represent...

What stakeholders are saying

R Street Institute estimates H.R. 3218 will save $116 million through 2027.

Incorporated legislation

This bill incorporates provisions from:

S. 1598: Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017

Ordered Reported on Jul 26, 2017. 99% incorporated. (compare text)

H.R. 3372: To amend title 38, United States Code, to provide for the restoration of entitlement to educational assistance and other relief for veterans affected by school closure or disapproval, and for …

Introduced on Jul 24, 2017. 100% incorporated. (compare text)

H.R. 1989: VET TEC Act

Introduced on Apr 6, 2017. 87% incorporated. (compare text)

H.R. 2068: Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans Education Relief and Restoration Act of 2017

Introduced on Apr 6, 2017. 74% incorporated. (compare text)

H.R. 2257: Guard and Reservists Education Improvement Act

Introduced on Apr 28, 2017. 88% incorporated. (compare text)

S. 1362: Guard and Reservists Education Improvement Act

Introduced on Jun 15, 2017. 85% incorporated. (compare text)

H.R. 1391: Veterans Success on Campus Act of 2017

Introduced on Mar 7, 2017. 87% incorporated. (compare text)

H.R. 1994: VETERAN Act

Introduced on Apr 6, 2017. 97% incorporated. (compare text)


Jul 13, 2017

Bills and resolutions are referred to committees which debate the bill before possibly sending it on to the whole chamber.

Jul 19, 2017
Ordered Reported

A committee has voted to issue a report to the full chamber recommending that the bill be considered further. Only about 1 in 4 bills are reported out of committee.

Jul 24, 2017
Passed House (Senate next)

The bill was passed in a vote in the House. It goes to the Senate next.

Jul 24, 2017
Reported by House Committee on Veterans' Affairs

A committee issued a report on the bill, which often provides helpful explanatory background on the issue addressed by the bill and the bill's intentions.

Aug 2, 2017
Passed Senate

The bill was passed by both chambers in identical form. It goes to the President next who may sign or veto the bill. The vote was by Unanimous Consent so no record of individual votes was made.

Aug 16, 2017
Enacted — Signed by the President

The President signed the bill and it became law.

H.R. 3218 (115th) was a bill in the United States Congress.

A bill must be passed by both the House and Senate in identical form and then be signed by the President to become law.

Bills numbers restart every two years. That means there are other bills with the number H.R. 3218. This is the one from the 115th Congress.

This bill was introduced in the 115th Congress, which met from Jan 3, 2017 to Jan 3, 2019. Legislation not passed by the end of a Congress is cleared from the books.

How to cite this information.

We recommend the following MLA-formatted citation when using the information you see here in academic work:

“H.R. 3218 — 115th Congress: Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017.” 2017. December 8, 2022 <>

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