Bonamici Statement on Cost of Proposed Updates to Federal Higher Education Policies
WASHINGTON, DC [2/12/18] — Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici (D-OR), a leader on the Education and the Workforce Committee, issued the following statement after the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released cost estimates for legislation pushed by Committee Republicans that will roll back federal higher education policies.
“The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office confirmed that the House Republican proposal to reform federal higher education policies will actually make it more expensive for millions of Americans to attend college. The so-called PROSPER Act will make higher education even further out of reach, especially for low-income students and working families. According to CBO’s analysis, the PROSPER Act would send $9.2 billion in taxpayer dollars to for-profit colleges and low-quality programs – many of which have a record of exploiting students and cheating taxpayers. Most egregiously, this bill fails low-income students and working families by slashing student loan and grant programs and increasing borrowers’ monthly loan payments. And it eliminates the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program, which has strong bipartisan support and was enacted during the Bush Administration.
“Education is one of the best investments we can make. The hastily-written, partisan bill is the wrong approach. We should be working together to make college more affordable and accessible, strengthen consumer protections for student loan borrowers, and hold unscrupulous for-profit colleges accountable.”
When the Education and the Workforce Committee considered the Promoting Real Opportunity, Success, and Prosperity through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act, Bonamici stood up against efforts to roll back federal higher education policies that support low-income students. She also strongly opposed efforts to reduce accountability of unscrupulous for-profit institutions and to remove consumer protections for defrauded students who attended them. Bonamici offered numerous amendments to make higher education more accessible and affordable and to preserve and enhance consumer protections for individuals with student loans. Those amendments were rejected, typically in party-line votes.