Congressman O’ Rourke introduces bill to protect tuition assistance for military members
WASHINGTON — Wednesday Rep. Beto O’ Rourke (TX-16) joined Rep. Joe Wilson (SC-02) and Rep. Chris Gibson (NY-19) to introduce H.R. 1265, a bill aimed at protecting military tuition assistance programs from sequestration cuts.
“Across the country, men and women in uniform are using the tuition assistance program to accomplish great things, make themselves better Service Members and prepare for careers after their military service,” said Rep. O’Rourke. “I represent Fort Bliss and the 36,000 Service Members who currently serve there. As they make their return from Iraq and Afghanistan, these men and women rely on tuition assistance programs to begin the transition back into civilian life, earn an education and find good paying-jobs when they leave the Armed Services. We cannot pull the rug out from under them now.”
This bipartisan legislation would reverse the tuition assistance suspension enacted by the Department of Defense and reinstate funding through the 2013 fiscal year. In FY2012, tuition assistance programs constituted only 0.1% of the Pentagon’s $700 billion budget and allowed Service Members to take 870,000 classes and earn over 50,000 degrees, diplomas, and certificates.
“Sequestration has forced the Pentagon to make some tough decisions, but those cuts should not target the tuition programs that allow Service Members to achieve their fullest potential,” said Rep. O’Rourke. “I hope my colleagues will join me in supporting this important legislation.”
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