While the effects of sequestration will continue to build over time, our men and women in uniform are already feeling the impact with the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard stopping tuition assistance:
“Air Force spokeswoman Lt. Col. Laurel Tingley said airmen were notified by email that new applications for tuition assistance won’t be accepted because of the $85 billion in automatic federal spending cuts that went into effect March 1.”
“The U.S. Army, U.S. Marine Corps and U.S. Coast Guard quietly suspended their assistance programs last week. A decision by the U.S. Navy is pending.”
“The tuition assistance programs pay up to $250 per semester hour for active duty personnel, or as much as $4,500 per year. Payments already approved under the program will still be paid, but the changes are expected to leave military personnel scrambling to figure out how to pay for classes for the summer and fall semesters.”
“‘This suspension is necessary given the significant budget execution challenges caused by the combined effects of a possible year-long continuing resolution and sequestration,’ said Army spokesman Troy A. Rolan Sr. ‘The Army understands the impacts of this action and will re-evaluate should the budgetary situation improve.’”
So instead of making it easier for our military personnel to further their education, the Republican sequester is cutting important benefits they have earned and deserve. What more will it take for Republicans to recognize the serious impact of this irrational process? Once again, we’d like to remind them: it’s not too late to work together on a balanced solution.