Inhofe, Hagan seek to reverse military’s tuition assistance cuts

Inhofe called the decision a “travesty,” and said in a statement that President Obama “wants Americans to feel the pain of the arbitrary across-the-board budget cuts from sequestration.”

Inhofe suggested on Fox News Thursday that the Pentagon should instead cut its biofuels program, something that’s long been a target of Republicans.

Hagan wasn’t as critical of the administration as Inhofe, but called the Pentagon’s move “shortsighted.”

Hagan said that about 300,000 service members used the tuition assistance program in fiscal 2012.

Pentagon press secretary George Little defended the services’ “tough choices” about what to cut, while blaming Congress for being unable to stop sequester.

“Let me be clear: We are here because of sequestration on tuition assistance,” Little said at a Tuesday press briefing. “If sequestration were averted, we may be facing a different set of choices on these and other programs.”

While the services might oppose the Inhofe-Hagan amendment reversing their budgeting decisions, they do support the CR overall — both the House and Senate versions include a full-year Defense appropriations bill that will give them more flexibility to move money into operations and maintenance accounts facing shortfalls.

The Senate will continue votes on amendments to the CR on Thursday.