Presidential hopeful Representative Seth Moulton on Sunday unveiled a plan modeled after the GI Bill that would guarantee young Americans an educational benefit if they take part in national service.
“I have a simple proposition: If you are willing to work hard and sacrifice to serve your country, America will support you by paying for job training and education,” the Salem Democrat said in a statement announcing the plan. “Using the GI Bill as a model, we will provide education and job training benefits for those who answer the call to serve.”
The plan includes broad outreach to Americans ages 17 to 24 to ask them to serve in some capacity. It would create a Federal Green Corps to address climate change and environmental protection. The current National Service and Community Service would be renamed and expanded. The administrator would also be elevated to a Cabinet position, the statement said.
Moulton is serving his third term in Congress representing Massachusetts’ Sixth District. He is one of 24 Democrats running for president in 2020, a field that also includes Senator Elizabeth Warren, the state’s senior senator.
Moulton’s national service plan would guarantee financial assistance for either college tuition or job training. The amounts would vary depending on a participant’s length of service.
For one year of service, a participant would receive 60 percent of the cost of in-state tuition or up to $14,000 worth of job training. A person serving two years would receive 80 percent of in-state tuition or up to $19,000 worth of job training. For three years of service, a participant would receive complete in-state tuition or up to $24,000 for job training, according to the statement.
Moulton, a former Marine and Iraq War veteran, compared the plan to the GI Bill established to assist returning veterans. He pointed to more than 16 million Americans who served during World War II, as well as those who served after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.
The post-9/11 GI Bill “ . . . made the American Dream a reality for another generation of returning veterans,” he said.