Congress spares military's tuition aid program

Pentagon told to find money for student aid

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WASHINGTON - Congress has spared the military's tuition assistance program from the budget knife.

The House cleared a bill on Thursday to keep the government running. It includes a provision reversing the decision by the Army, Air Force and Marine Corps to suspend the program.

Faced with some $43 billion in automatic cuts that kicked in March 1, the military abandoned the program that pays up to $250 per semester hour for active duty personnel, or as much as $4,500 per year. The Pentagon said the move would save $250 million to $300 million.

But Oklahoma Republican Sen. Jim Inhofe and North Carolina Democratic Sen. Kay Hagan fought to spare the program. By voice vote Wednesday, the Senate backed an amendment instructing the Pentagon to find the money for the program.


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