Rep. Ilhan Omar has come under fire for promoting an article saying that the “ethos” of the G.I. Bill should apply to all Americans.
The Minnesota Democrat sparked social media backlash when she tweeted a quote from an AlterNet piece last week by Marine veteran Will Fischer, titled “A veteran explains why we need a new version of the G.I. Bill — for everyone.”
Fischer touted subsidized higher education for everyone and wiping out student loan debts in his piece, claiming the “results would be astounding.”
Omar’s tweet quoted another part of the article.
“Imagine what it would do for our country and those who live here if we were to take the ethos behind the original G.I. Bill and apply it to everybody—canceling all student debt and making public colleges, universities, and vocational schools tuition-free,” the Minnesota Democrat tweeted.
“Imagine what it would do for our country and those who live here if we were to take the ethos behind the original G.I. Bill and apply it to everybody—canceling all student debt and making public colleges, universities, and vocational schools tuition-free.” ?? https://t.co/P6LNRv6h9w
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 7, 2020
Many of those who slammed Omar were veterans who pointed out that their service and sacrifice is what earned their “free” education, like Chris Manning who ran for Congress as a Libertarian in 2018.
I’m a recipient of the GI Bill. The GI Bill was earned by agreeing to serve my country for six years and to put my life at risk as an infantryman in Afghanistan. It wasn’t something just given to me with nothing expected in return. Don’t cheapen our sacrifice w/ this comparison. pic.twitter.com/4CNspm8gXt
— Chris Manning (@Manning4USCong) February 7, 2020
Gun-rights activist Cam Edwards also schooled Omar, as did many other veterans and families of those who served.
My dad was a WWII vet who went to Brown University on the GI Bill. He still worked as a truck driver on the side to pay for his family’s food and housing while attending school full time.
He didn’t get “free” college. He paid his way with his service to the nation. https://t.co/lRQ6oRsck5
— Cam Edwards (@CamEdwards) February 7, 2020
If Rep. Ilhan Omar wants the GI bill to apply to all Americans, then all Americans should join the military and lay their life on the line for America. I did and so did many of my family and friends. pic.twitter.com/ZIkXmsuFp5
— DeAnna Charett (@DeAnnaCharett) February 10, 2020
I have the G.I. Bill and have used it because I earned the benefit by serving my country for 32+ years. 3 of my sons have the G.I. Bill because they’ve earned it by service. I always worked while in school to support my family too. What will these people do to earn it? https://t.co/TyLrVTw4w9
— Col. Rob Maness ret. (@RobManess) February 7, 2020
Service members volunteer and sacrifice to EARN the GI Bill. Don’t cheapen that by using it to justify your socialist agenda.
— Alex, 1st of his Name, Father of Daughters ?? (@Army_GA_Dad) February 7, 2020
Omar came to her own defense after the outrage, with a weak excuse slamming the critics and “writers for rightwing blogs” for attacking her when the words in the tweet were not her own.
? The number of people in my mentions and writers for rightwing blogs who don’t understand what quotations marks mean is astonishing.
These are the words of the veteran who inked this op-ed , not mine. Don’t deny him the opportunity to have his voice amplified. https://t.co/nk92A26mcr
— Ilhan Omar (@IlhanMN) February 7, 2020
The GI Bill was passed by Congress in 1944 and was explained this way by The Department of Veterans Affairs:
Before the war, college and homeownership were, for the most part, unreachable dreams for the average American. Thanks to the GI Bill, millions who would have flooded the job market instead opted for education. In the peak year of 1947, Veterans accounted for 49 percent of college admissions. By the time the original GI Bill ended on July 25, 1956, 7.8 million of 16 million World War II Veterans had participated in an education or training program. Millions also took advantage of the GI Bill’s home loan guaranty. From 1944 to 1952, VA backed nearly 2.4 million home loans for World War II Veterans.
Omar’s lame attempt to deflect blame and the negative reactions against her only stirred up more anger.
Funny. Socialists want access to all I own, except of course the uniform I wore.
Vets earned the GI Bill.
— Wm. Brady (@WilliamBradyCoS) February 7, 2020
You can amplify the voice. I can still criticize the opinion. The GI Bill is earned through military service to the country. I’m thinking you have to do a little more than wake up and breathe to earn that going forward
— OJ Bollinger (@ojbollinger) February 7, 2020
Cool! Next time you write your next anti-Semitic remark, don’t forget to add quotations around it, so people don’t deny the opportunity to have your rhetoric amplified. https://t.co/MM2BMifRro
— Chanah Angelica Kamen (@AngelicaKamen) February 7, 2020
Rep. Ilhan Omar promotes call for GI Bill to apply to all Americans
Not putting these American haters back in office will go a long way in correcting the obvious problem.#omar
— charles kennedy (@pennfire12) February 10, 2020
You and all other Americans currently have access to the GI Bill. Feel free to sign on up and actually earn it like the rest of us. Stop being entitled.
— Red Beard Blades (@redbeardblades) February 10, 2020
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