U.S. Sen. Jim Inhofe (R-Okla.), Ranking Member of Senate Armed Services Committee, and Sen. Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) introduced Wednesday amendment 72 to the Senate Continuing Resolution (CR), which would stop the termination of tuition assistance for the Armed Services and prevent these funds from being decreased below the amount provided in the CR.
"Higher education is one of the top reasons why our men and women join and remain in our nation's all-volunteer military force," said Inhofe. "The President wants Americans to feel the pain of the arbitrary across-the-board budget cuts from sequestration, but to cut off promised education assistance for our service members when there are other lower priority spending programs to draw from is an injustice. This amendment reinforces the commitment of the Department of Defense to our service members who have counted on the tuition assistance benefit to improve their lives. Tuition Assistance is a cost effective way to educate service men and women, improve their combat effectiveness, and better prepare them for leadership positions within the military and re-entry into the civilian workforce. I hope my colleagues in the Senate can understand this travesty, and work with me to fulfill our promises to our brave men and women in uniform."
"We cannot put the burden of addressing our long-term fiscal challenges on the backs of our servicemembers," said Hagan. "The tuition assistance program gives our best and brightest the opportunity to continue developing their skills while on active duty, which will ultimately lead to smoother transitions to civilian life. Though I understand that the Department of Defense has tough budget decisions to make, but I believe that it is shortsighted to completely suspend this program. I urge my colleagues to join me and Senator Inhofe to pass this amendment and reinstate this crucial program."
The Tuition Assistance program allows active military to attend school part time while serving their nation. At the time of this press release, the Marines, Army, and Air Force had announce termination of tuition assistance for FY'13. Last year, military members took 870,000 courses and earned 50,500 degrees diplomas, and certificates.