WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama, eager to show administrative action in an election year, is promoting measures to safeguard veterans and the military against unscrupulous college recruiters.
In his Internet and radio address Saturday, Obama reiterated a series of measures he announced the day before at Fort Stewart, Ga., to protect current and former service men and women as they seek educational opportunities under the GI Bill.
“The sad truth is that there are people out there who are less interested in helping our men and women in uniform get ahead and more interested in making a buck,” he said. “Even though the vast majority of schools do the right thing, we need to guard against the bad actors who don’t.”
The White House action, which does not need congressional approval, aims mainly at for-profit colleges that market heavily to military families because of the easy availability of federal money under the GI Bill. Some postsecondary schools try to attract current and former military service members using deceptive military-themed websites that appear to be government-run or connected to the GI Bill benefit system, administration officials said.
“It’s not enough to just help our veterans and service members afford school – we need to make sure they have all the tools they need to make an informed decision when it comes to picking the right program,” Obama said.
In the Republican address, Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin, chairman of the House Budget Committee, criticized the Democratic-controlled Senate for not producing a budget and said Obama has failed to lead the country and put it on a path toward a smaller debt.
“The president is hunkered down in campaign mode and seems intent on dividing Americans for political gain instead of offering credible solutions to our most pressing fiscal and economic challenges,” Ryan said.