WASHINGTON, D.C.óToday, Congressman Ted Poe (TX-02) introduced H.R. 1253, the Sequester Pakistan Act. This bill would freeze all foreign aid to Pakistan until the Military Tuition Assistance Program of the Department of Defense is fully funded. This important program provides our troops the opportunity to obtain higher education that many could otherwise not afford.
ìThe President is punishing the troops for the sake of politics, ìsaid Poe. ìThe Administration has handpicked programs to cut in order to make Americans feel the sequester the most. Regrettably, one of the programs on the sequester casualty list was the Military Tuition Assistance Program. Many military service members were promised tuition assistance when they volunteered to serve. Now, the White House has broken that promise.
Since sequestration took place, the Administration has eliminated education funding for our troops, while at the same time increasing foreign aid to Pakistan by $37 million dollars. Pakistan has proven to be deceptive, deceitful and a danger to the United States. They are the ëBenedict Arnold Allyî in the war on terror that many of these troops have risked their lives to fight. We have a moral obligation to take care of the warriors who protect us, not the country who continues to betray us.î
- The Administration has requested over $2 billion in foreign aid to Pakistan for FY 2013.
- The Department of Defense has a budget of $700 billion. The Tuition Assistance Program accounts for just .1% of that budget.
- Last year, Washington spent $12.7 million on higher education in PAKISTAN. That is more than 1/4th of the $47 million we spend on tuition assistance for American Marines.
- Since the sequester, the Administration has increased foreign aid to Pakistan by $37 million.
- The Tuition Assistance Program has allowed members of the military to take 870,000 courses and graduate 50,000 individuals for several degrees.
Congressman Poe is Chairman of the Terrorism, Nonproliferation, and Trade Subcommittee on the House Foreign Affairs Committee.