Military Ordered to Restore Tuition Assistance Programs
In response to widespread outcry, Congress has voted today to restore tuition assistance programs to all branches of the military, except for the Coast Guard, less than two weeks after every branch except for the Navy announced that they would be indefinitely suspending the programs due to wide-spread government budget cuts enacted by the Obama administration earlier this month.
The bill, which is now on its way to the White House for Presidential approval, ordered the four largest branches of the military to continue paying tuition assistance through the end of the fiscal year on September 30, minus the 9.4 percent cut required by the sequester. Congress did not provide any additional funds to cover the programs, meaning that the branches will have to make other cuts in order to keep the tuition assistance programs going. The amendment is worded as an order, providing no flexibility for the services.
The reason the Coast Guard's tuition assistance programs were not saved by the amendment is that the amendment only applied to the defense budget. The Coast Guard's tuition assistance programs are included in the Homeland Security budget.
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