Shea-Porter Votes for Largest Higher Education Investment in American History, Secures Crucial Language Protecting NHHEAF

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter voted in favor of sweeping legislation that will expand access to higher education by making college more affordable for millions of American students while redirecting more than $10 billion in savings to the U.S Treasury.  Congresswoman Shea-Porter is an original cosponsor of the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, which provides landmark investments in education, from pre-K through college completion.  As a Member of the Education and Labor Committee, Shea-Porter played a significant role in drafting the legislation and was able to successfully secure critical language that will help protect more than 200 New Hampshire jobs.  Yesterday, Shea-Porter spoke on the House floor in favor of the legislation and urged her colleagues to support it. 

“Improving access to higher education helps ensure that students of all backgrounds have the opportunity to improve their lives and fulfill the promise of the American Dream,” said Congresswoman Shea-Porter.  “It invests in the next generation and it also lowers the deficit.”     

“Congresswoman Shea-Porter has been a thoughtful and steadfast leader to help us pass this historic legislation to make college more affordable and accessible,” said U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-CA), chair of the House Education and Labor Committee. “This bill makes the right investments in education for students, for taxpayers and for the future of this country.”

The investments in the legislation are made by reforming the current Federal student loan program to save taxpayers $87 billion by eliminating taxpayer subsides to private lenders. It reinvests $77 billion of those savings in education and redirects $10 billion to the Department of Treasury to reduce entitlement spending. The Congresswoman worked in Committee to achieve these investments while preserving the local services provided by the non-profit New Hampshire Higher Education Assistance Foundation (NHHEAF) and protecting its approximately 200 jobs.

“Congresswoman Shea-Porter has shown great leadership in Washington through her work on language to preserve the role of non-profits within H.R. 3221.  It is clear the Congresswoman takes her responsibility to New Hampshire students and their families seriously. Her work serves as a foundation upon which NHHEAF can build support in the Senate for high quality loan origination, loan servicing and top-notch financial literacy and college access programs,” said René A. Drouin, President & CEO of The NHHEAF Network Organizations.

The Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (SAFRA) includes the following investments:

40 billion additional dollars for the Pell Grant scholarship, increasing the grant from $5,350 in 2009 to $6,900 in 2019.

Increased funding for the College Access Challenge Grant program.

Establishment of the Early Learning Challenge Fund, a grant program to incentivize states to improve their early learning programs.

Encouragement of partnerships between community colleges and local businesses.

Facility modernization and repair funding for both community colleges and school districts.

For more information about the bill, click here.