|Coffman Opposes End to Tuition Assistance for Military Wants Egypt Aid Cut to Restore Funding|
(Washington, D. C.) - U.S. Representative Mike Coffman, a Marine Corps combat veteran and member of the House Armed Service Committee, announced today that he strongly opposes recent actions of the Obama Administration to suspend the tuition assistance programs for service members in the U.S. Army and the Marine Corps, and will be cosponsoring H.R. 1039, the Save Military Tuition Act. The legislation proposes to cut $500 million in unspent foreign aid to Egypt, and instead will direct the money to restore the tuition assistance program for soldiers and Marines.
“Whether it’s suspending tours at the White House to punish school children, compromising public safety by mass releases of illegal aliens with criminal records, or with this most recent ploy to go out of their way to hurt our service members, this Administration has shown no boundaries in what they will do to win their public relations battle regarding sequestration,” said Coffman.
Coffman utilized tuition assistance as an enlisted soldier early on in his military career while on active duty with the U.S. Army. He stated that there is a significant benefit in allowing service men and women to advance their education. Coffman has been pushing for targeted defense spending cuts as an alternative to the automatic across-the-board cuts under sequestration.
“This administration not only specifically stated that they do not want any additional authority from Congress to better prioritize these cuts in order to protect important programs, they failed to utilize the latitude they have to prioritize,” said Coffman.
Under H.R. 1039, the tuition reinstatement would be paid for by cutting U.S. foreign aid to Egypt. Since 1948, the United States has provided Egypt with $71.6 billion in aid. The Obama administration requested $1.55 billion for 2013, and according to Coffman, this aid is not a specific requirement of the Camp David Accords, a peace treaty signed between Israel and Egypt that was brokered by the United States in 1978.
“We are not under any obligation to continue to provide them with over a billion and a half dollars in aid every year. Re-prioritizing this funding to our soldiers and Marines is the right thing to do,” said Coffman.
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Published March 13, 2013