As GI Bill Marks 75th Anniversary, Some Call for Expansion

In marking the 75th anniversary of the original GI Bill, a top Department of Veterans Affairs official on Wednesday pointed to a glaring difference between the post-World War II and post-9/11 versions — the small-business option.

Paul Lawrence, head of the Veterans Benefit Administration, said, “One of the things I get asked about wherever I go is: ‘Why can’t I use the GI Bill to start a business? Why can’t I do that?'”

“It once was in the bill” signed on June 22, 1944, by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in the form of a small loan as startup capital, Lawrence said at a forum sponsored by the U.S. Chamber of Commerce celebrating the 75th anniversary of what was formally called the “Servicemen’s Readjustment Act.”

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