Skip to comments.Senators rally to reinstate military tuition assistance after sequester cut
Posted on 03/16/2013 4:35:46 AM PDT by SkyPilot
Senators are pushing to reinstate tuition assistance for members of the U.S. military, decrying a move by the administration to suspend the program citing the sequester.
"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," Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in a statement.
He and Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina introduced an amendment Wednesday to a stopgap budget bill that would restore the program. Inhofe told Fox News he has additional Democratic support lined up, and warned that dropping the program not only hurts service members -- it could hurt the military as a whole.
"It would hurt retention and our ability to enlist these people," he said.
Inhofe said the tuition assistance, at least in the Army, is a major motivation for people to enlist.
"They can work a little bit harder and be able to get a college degree, and for them to pull that out from under them ...." Inhofe said.
He acknowledged the administration needs to make cuts to comply with the sequester -- the across-the-board cuts that took effect March 1 -- but suggested the Defense Department shave back its "green agenda" to find the money.
Hagan, in a statement, also said she understands the Pentagon has some "tough budget decisions" to make, but called the decision to suspend tuition assistance "shortsighted."
So far, the Army, Marines and Air Force have pulled back on the program for this fiscal year.
(Excerpt) Read more at foxnews.com ...
The GOP knows perfectly well what Sequestration has done to the military. It is 18% of the budget, but it must endure 50% of all cuts. Entitlements, the biggest driver of our debt and deficits, are EXEMPT from Sequestration (they are 63% of all spending and they are exploiding in growth).
Since military pay is exempt from Sequestration and most contracts cannot be touched halfway into the fiscal year, Operations and Maintenance money must be gutted to "pay" for Sequestration.
Of all the services, the Navy and the Army are the worst off concerning O&M money. I had a general office tell me last week that the Army has an O&M shortfall of over 50% for the remainder of the year. This is catastrophic. The Navy (with the permission of the White House) is also in dire shape. The Air Force has been the most frugal in retaining funds for Sequestration, but in an egalitarian move, the Pentagon Comptroller Robert Hale is going to "take" from the Air Force and "give" to the other services to try to keep the military functioning at a basic level.
This is what out of control Entitlement spending has brought us to as a nation.
The Republicans know they have helped to destroy the military. The also agreed to the CR freezing of funds last year for the military, which has put the DoD billions in the hole before Sequestration, and the Republicans also agreed to Obama's massive cut of $487 Billion over ten years to the military that started in 2010 (we are now in our 3rd year of these huge cuts). These are real cuts, not baseline budgeting fantasy.
The Republicans want the 10 year Sequestration to continue because they do not want Entitlement reform. They are afraid the takers will blame them, but Obama will get the credit for helping to balance the budget. What you are reading in the most of the news vs. what the political games really are is striking.
This is the political reality:
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) says he can envision such a scenario if Democrats put specific entitlement cuts on the table. But, top House GOP officials tell us that is nuts. The prevailing view among House Republicans is that they have finally won the cuts they spent years fighting for and see little reason to tick off senior voters by cutting entitlements while also ticking off the base with new taxes. In truth, many Republicans arent very motivated themselves to start messing with entitlements if they dont have to.
Tuition Assistance is a betrayal. The DoD is about to furlough 750,000 dedicated patriots who serve the military, from nurses to ship yard workers.
The is shameful. Obama is a Communist Homosexual, but the Republicans who are allowing this to happen to the military are Judas Iscariot.
Not to mention that out of those 750,000 furlowed folks are folks who are severely disabled because of the Iraq and Afghanistan war who now work as a government employer who most likely would not have been hired any place else. Terrible decision all around.
Lets not forget which Republican senators were dining with obama just recently. McCain, Graham, Chambliss, Burr, Colloins................
They realize the horrible reality: 10,000 people per day are joining the Entitlement passenger train, while every day we have less Americans in the labor force paying taxes. Obama is evil, but he won reelection. The GOP also lost seats in the Senate. It is what it is.
most people I know do not like being lied to. The Republicans who are now claiming faux outrage due to the devastation of the military cuts are being disingenuous. They want to preen for the cameras about how terrible it all is, yet behind the scenes they will not lift a finger to reverse Sequestration and reform Entitlements.
you make excellent points
The program was grossly expensive and wasteful, the servicemen could let their relatives use it, it was a hot mess. It needs to go back to what it was like after Viet Nam
Disgraceful to do that to military. Those kissing up to Obama should be run out of town.
"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," Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., top Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee, said in a statement. He and Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina introduced an amendment Wednesday to a stopgap budget bill that would restore the program.
Gee, why didn’t they rally to get the military folks’ VOTES back here in time to be counted?????????