Kline Demands Equal Access for Military Recruiters
Lawmaker Would Deny Federal Earmarks to Colleges not Complying
WASHINGTON - January 27, 2005 - Congressman John Kline (R-MN) has authored a letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the U.S. House Appropriations Committee requesting the end of federal earmarks, or discretionary funding, to colleges and universities which deny or obstruct on-campus military recruiting.
To ensure the U.S. military has the same access to recruit highly qualified candidates as other public and private entities, the federal government formerly had the authority to deny any and all federal funding to universities refusing to allow on-campus military recruiting. On November 29th of last year, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals in Philadelphia overturned this legislation, restoring the ability of universities to receive federal funding despite barring military recruiters from campus.
This action threatens to severely damage the ability of the military to recruit the highly qualified candidates necessary during a time of war. Harvard Law School has already implemented the unjust policy of denying the military access to its campus for recruiting purposes. Without the threat of losing federal funding, many other schools are expected to follow suit. The Department of Defense intends to appeal this ruling, but the military risks losing access to a vital source of highly qualified recruits in the interim. To prevent this loss, Kline and his co-signers seek to deny all discretionary funding to institutions which deny military access to campuses.
"The citizens of the United States benefit from a well-trained military composed of the best and brightest individuals," said Kline. "By denying recruiters the chance to offer these young men and women the opportunity to serve, these colleges and universities are doing a disservice to the safety and security of the United States. I am hopeful our actions will put an end to this harmful practice and restore the ability of the U.S. military to serve its citizens most effectively.