Senate Democrats

Democrats Discuss Passage Of Bill To Make Higher Education More Affordable

Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Senator Edward Kennedy, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer and Congressman George Miller held a press conference today to discuss the passage of the College Cost Reduction Act conference report, which will make higher education more affordable for more Americans.

Democrats continue to fulfill our promise of putting working families first and making higher education affordable for more Americans, giving every student a chance to succeed and making America more competitive.  This bill increases grant aid and college access for low-income students, and makes the student loan system work for students, not the banks.

“As more and more working Americans are priced out of the promise and opportunity higher education provides, I am proud that Democrats are sending the President a bill that makes college more affordable,” Reid said.  “We are making student loans more affordable and funding the largest increase in college aid since the G.I. bill half a century ago.  We are opening the doors to success ever wider for millions of students, giving them a chance to succeed so that they in turn will make America more competitive in the global economy.”

Said Kennedy, Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee: “Today, we passed the largest increase in college student aid since the GI Bill. And it couldn’t come soon enough. The commitment we made today to our students – and to their futures – matches our resources with our vision.  It takes the fat from the banks and lenders and gives it back to students.  A college degree opens the door of opportunity, and it’s time all Americans are given a chance to achieve the American Dream.”

This is an historic day for millions of hard-working Americans who want to send their sons and daughters to college,” Hoyer said. “It is also the day on which Democrats keep our promise to help ensure that college is within the reach of qualified students who want to pursue higher education.”

Said Miller, Chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee and an author of the legislation: “Today is truly a historic day for students, families, and the future of our country.  This bill takes extraordinary steps to bring urgently needed financial relief to students and families who are working very hard to pay for college.  The Democratic Congress promised to make college more affordable for all qualified students so that we can put the American dream back within reach for all families. I could not be more proud that we are making good on this promise and sending a bill to the President’s desk that will do more to help American students pay for college than any other effort since the GI Bill.”