WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senate Commerce Committee Ranking Member Ted Cruz (R-Texas) issued the following statement on Senate passage of the Changing Age-Determined Eligibility to Student Incentive Payments (CADETS) Act, bipartisan legislation he introduced with Sen. Gary Peters (D-Mich.). The bill expands the age of eligibility for a Maritime Administration program that gives financial assistance to cadets who attend Texas A&M Maritime Academy, or one of the other five state maritime academies, and who commit to a post-graduation service obligation. Current age requirements for the Student Incentive Payment Program prohibit cadets older than 25 from participating in the program. However, many former military veterans and service members attend these state academies, but most of these cadets are too old to qualify for aid. As a result, older student veterans do not qualify for the program.
On the passage of the CADETS Act, Sen. Cruz said:
“The nation’s state maritime academies play an unseen and often underappreciated role in protecting our country’s national security and economic interests. Senate passage of the bipartisan CADETS Act is an important step for increasing opportunities for our nation’s veterans and ensuring America remains on top of the global economy. By expanding age eligibility for financial assistance to students enrolled in America’s maritime academies, including at the Texas A&M Maritime Academy, this legislation ensures the next generation of maritime leaders is ready for the challenges they will face.”