Warner Predicts A New GI Bill Will Pass

Sen. John Warner (R-Va.), an early supporter of Sen. Jim Webb's (D-Va.) GI Bill, said he's "quite certain" this Congress will pass the educational benefits bill for veterans, but suggested some changes lie ahead.

Webb's bill is one of many improving access to education for members of the military. It has racked up more support than others and goes beyond most others in its scope of benefits and would offer students enough money to attend the most expensive public university in their state.

The administration, though, opposes it, saying it would encourage members of the all-volunteer service to leave. Sen. John McCain of Arizona and two other Republican senators have offered a competing proposal that addresses the administration's concerns.

Warner, who attended college on GI Bill benefits, hinted that a compromise between the two measures might be in the offing.

"There's a possibility that we might make some changes in the Webb bill -- it's up to him -- to make some changes reflecting what I believe are some important points raised by other senators," said Warner, who's retiring at the end of this term in January.

He declined to go into specifics, saying that the decisions were up to Webb.

Responding, Webb spokeswoman Kimberly Hunter said, "We still think our bill is the gold standard and should go forward with the highest possible number of benefits possible."

So stay tuned.