Washington, DC—Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid made the following statement today after the U.S. Senate passed the Higher Education Opportunity Act:
“As Democrats took control of the Congress last year, we made college affordability and access one of our top priorities. Today, as a result of a strong bipartisan effort, we have completed the final piece of our commitment to make a college education more affordable and accessible, and the first reauthorization of the Higher Education Act in a decade.
“This bill, combined with our efforts last year to provide nearly $20 billion in new student aid and benefits, which included a significant increase to the Pell Grant and a reduction of student loan interest rates, will provide tangible benefits to college students across this country.
“While Senator Kennedy and Enzi and the entire HELP Committee deserve enormous credit for their work to move this legislation forward in a bipartisan way, I also want to thank Senator Mikulski, who stepped into some very big shoes with Senator Kennedy’s absence, to help get this bill across the finish line.”