WASHINGTON, March 21 (UPI) -- Tuition assistance for U.S. service members seeking college degrees would be restored under a bill passed by the U.S. Senate, officials say.
The bill would require the Pentagon to reinstate the program, which blamed sequestration cuts when it stopped new enrollments this month, Stars and Stripes reported Wednesday.
The program pays service members $250 per semester hour and up to $4,500 a year. About 300,000 members of the armed forces use the program each year.
The legislation would prohibit the U.S. Defense Department from cutting tuition assistance by more than the amount mandated under sequestration, or about 8 percent this year.
Three Republican lawmakers introduced separate legislation in the House Wednesday that also would restore the tuitions assistance program. The representatives said the money saved by cutting the program wasn't significant enough to justify the hardship imposed on service members.