Rep. Fudge Votes for Historic Investment in Pell Grants and Community Colleges

On September 17, 2009, Representative Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11) voted for the single largest investment in student aid in the Nation’s history. The Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, H.R. 3221, will increase federal Pell Grants from a maximum of $5,500 in 2010 to $6,900 in 2019. The Act also increases funding for early childhood education and enhances America’s community college system. The measures in this Act will help to create a stronger, more competitive American economy.

“I am proud to support this historic investment in education and retraining. Through my work on the Education and Labor Committee, I had the opportunity to include a provision that fosters expanded retraining opportunities” said Rep. Fudge. “My provision, within the Act, supports the relationship between community colleges and industry stakeholders. This is done to establish a dialogue on employers’ needs and to understand how education centers can best prepare workers for a 21st century economy. We must be intentional about training people to enter growing industries, as opposed to those that are no longer hiring.”

Rep. Fudge believes in President Obama’s initiative to re-establish America as the leader in college graduates by 2020, which is the goal of this bill. This Act will reform the system of federal student loans to save the taxpayers $87 billion and will direct $10 billion back to the Treasury to reduce the national debt.

Additionally, the bill alters the student loan system by originating new loans solely through the government’s Direct Loan program. This simple change will make college loans more reliable as they operate in the best interest of student borrowers by reducing many of the potential conflicts of interest existing in the current loan system. The Act preserves competition among private lenders and non-profits to provide top-notch customer service for student borrowers.

The Act also maintains low interest rates on government-subsidized loans, substantially invests in early childhood education, expands the Perkins low-cost loan program to every U.S. college, and simplifies the process of applying for student financial aid.