An attempt by two U.S. senators to reinstate the suspended tuition assistance programs for military members failed on Monday.
U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., and Sent Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., introduced an amendment that would have reinstated the program that had been suspended in the wake of sequestration.
Instead, the Senate on Monday failed to reach an agreement to consider a set of amendments to the continuing resolution, of which the tuition assistance program was one.
"I’m disappointed the Senate will not vote on the bipartisan Inhofe-Hagan amendment to restore tuition assistance benefits for the military at this time," Hagan said in a statement. "We owe it to the men and women in uniform — many of whom joined so they could further their education after protecting our country — to hold up our commitment to them.
"It is unacceptable to attempt to balance the budget on the backs of our servicemembers. I will continue working with Sen. Inhofe, our supporters in the Senate and the many organizations that expressed support for our amendment to restore tuition assistance for our servicemembers. They have never given up on this country, and I won’t give up working to restore this program."
In the wake of sequestration, the Air Force, Army and Marine Corps suspended tuition assistance benefits, which are designated for active-duty servicemembers. Those already receiving assistance are exempt, but no new requests are being accepted under the program.
According to a release from Hagan’s office, about 300,000 military members participated in the program in fiscal year 2012, with 50,000 receiving degrees, diplomas or certificates through the program.