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Edwards introduces bipartisan bill to help veterans get CDLs

Reaching across the aisle, U.S. Rep. Chuck Edwards has joined Democrats to seek a change in the law to make it easier for veterans to earn commercial drivers licenses.

Edwards and U.S. Rep. Chris Pappas (D-NH) introduced H.R. 2830, the Veteran Improvement Commercial Driver License Act of 2023, to eliminate red tape that excludes veterans from accessing commercial driver-education programs using their GI Bill benefits. U.S. Reps. Eli Crane (R-AZ) and Abigail Spanberger (D-VA) joined as original co-sponsors of the bill.

The legislation would exempt new branches of established commercial driver-training facilities from the statutory two-year waiting period to accept GI Bill benefits if the primary training facility has already been approved by the Department of Veterans Affairs and state approving agencies to receive those benefits.

“In rural areas like Western North Carolina, veterans have to drive for hours to get training for a commercial driver license because closer facilities are forced to wait two years to accept GI Bill benefits," Edwards said. "The truck driver shortage is worsening, and obtaining a CDL can provide veterans with good, high-paying jobs when they finish their service. H.R. 2830 will cut red tape and expand veterans’ access to timely and quality training. I’m pleased to introduce this commonsense, bipartisan bill with my colleagues, Congressman Pappas, Congressman Crane and Congresswoman Spanberger to expand opportunities for our veterans.”