Pentagon to restore military tuition funding
By Jeremy Herb - 03/27/13 02:51 PM ET
The military is reinstating tuition assistance programs that three services had suspended due to budget cuts, the Pentagon said Wednesday.
The Pentagon is restoring funding to the tuition assistance as a result of the government funding bill Congress passed last week, which prohibited the military from making cuts to the program.
The amendment blocking the tuition cuts from Sens. James Inhofe (R-Okla.) and Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) was passed by a voice vote and included in the continuing resolution.
President Obama signed the funding measure into law on Tuesday.
Pentagon spokesman Mark Wright said Wednesday that the Defense Department is now working with the services to comply with the legislation.
"Based on the legislation that just passed, tuition assistance is to be reinstated across the services,” Wright said in a statement. “DOD agrees with Congress that the tuition assistance program is very important, both to the department and our service members.”
The Army, Marines and Air Force had all suspended the tuition assistance program in recent weeks, citing the across-the-board budget cuts under sequestration.
Before Congress blocked the suspension, the Pentagon had defended the decision as a difficult but necessary move with the Pentagon facing $46 billion in cuts for 2013 under the sequester.
While the continuing resolution blocked the Pentagon from making tuition assistance cuts, it did give the Department of Defense the flexibility it had requested with a full-year Defense appropriations bill, which allowed the Pentagon to shift $10 billion into its operations and maintenance accounts.