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Senate Does U-Turn On Tuition Assistance Reinstatement

Sen. Kay Hagan with service member.
Sen. Kay Hagan
Sen. Kay Hagan with service member.

Just days after scrapping an amendment that would've reinstated military Tuition Assistance programs, the Senate has approved a measure to restart enrollment for the programs.

Home Post reported Wednesday morning that the budget amendment by Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan of North Carolina and Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma to reinstate the Tuition Assistance programs died when the Senate approved a budget measure without adding any amendments at all.

But by Wednesday afternoon, the Senate held a voice vote to approve the amendment. Inhofe said in a statement:

"I am...pleased to see the Senate include my amendment with Sen. Hagan to restore the military tuition assistance program. These education benefits were promised to our active-duty servicemembers and, as the Navy exemplified today, can and should be prioritized. The program is critical to recruiting and retention efforts, and improves the lives of our men and women seeking leadership growth within the military or those transitioning back into the civilian workforce."

The approved amendment is part of the Senate Continuing Resolution, which provides funding for the government for the next six-months. According to a news release from Sen. Hagan:

The Inhofe-Hagan amendment as passed by the Senate prohibits Tuition Assistance funds from being reduced beyond the overall percentage by which the Services' Operations and Maintenance accounts are cut because of sequestration.

Thursday morning the House approved its own government funding bill, which includes Tuition Assistance reinstatement for the Army, Air Force, and Marine Corps. The Coast Guard is not covered, according to the Military Times, because it's not included in Inhofe and Hagan's amendment.