Senators from both parties are protesting a move by the Defense Department to cancel tuition assistance for troops for the rest of the year as part of the automatic spending cuts known as the sequester.
According to Politico, the lawmakers are angry that the Army, Air Force and Marine Corps have canceled tuition assistance. Some Republicans have accused President Barack Obama of ordering the cuts as part an effort to make the sequester appear more severe.
“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,” Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe said recently.
Inhofe has teamed with North Carolina Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan on an amendment to the temporary spending bill now under consideration that would mandate the tuition money be restored.
Under the Defense Department tuition program, thousands of active duty personnel have been able to attend school part-time. Last year alone, Politico reported,
some 50,500 degrees, diplomas, and certificates were earned by active duty personnel who participated in 870,000 courses.
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