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Kennedy Praises Appointment of Conferees for Higher Education Reauthorization

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC


Senator Edward M. Kennedy (D-MA), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions today praised the action of the Senate in appointing conferees to reconcile the Senate and House versions of legislation to reauthorize the Higher Education Act. Consideration of the conference bill, entitled the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008, ends months of delay in taking this step after earlier passage of separate Senate and House bills.

"I'm very pleased we're moving toward final passage of this legislation," said Kennedy. "It's more important than ever for students to have the support they need in obtaining a college degree, and this bill takes major steps to make higher education more affordable and accessible."

The Higher Education Opportunity Act is the third major higher education bill to be passed by the HELP Committee in the past year. In July 2007, Congress passed the College Cost Reduction and Access Act (P.L. 110-84), a landmark student aid law that increased Federal aid to college students by more than $20 billion. In May 2008, Congress approved the Ensuring Continued Access to Student Loans Act (P.L. 110-227), emergency legislation to ensure the availability of Federal student loans in the face of the current troubles in the credit market.

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