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Public Statements

Protecting Academic Freedom in Higher Education Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. WOOLSEY. Madam Chair, we've just spent the last few hours in an Education and Workforce Committee markup debating the disastrous Republican rewrite of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Not content to undermine K 12 education, the majority adjourned the markup so they could come down here and inflict damage on higher education, as well.

Through the repeal of two important Department of Education regulations, H.R. 2117 undercuts college students' ability to be assured a quality education for their investment. Congresswoman Foxx's bill repeals two Department of Education regulations intended to protect consumers, students, taxpayers, and the money that we invest in higher education because it doesn't hold the spending accountable to ensure that there's real progress for the dollars that we invest.

This bill doesn't do anything to solve the problem of how to make college more affordable for more people. Why are we doing this? Why aren't we addressing the absolutely looming student loan interest rate hike that will drastically increase the cost of college? If Congress doesn't act by July, more than 7 million students will face an increase of approximately $2,800 in higher costs.

At a time when a sluggish economy is making it hard for young people to
find work, why aren't we standing here talking about cutting the barriers to higher education? Why aren't we opening a pathway to the American Dream? Why are we restricting access to a college education? Why aren't we working for these kids instead of against them? I don't understand this. We should be working together to increase accountability. We should be protecting taxpayer investments. We should be opening the door to higher education. Instead we're debating this wasteful partisan piece of legislation.
I urge all Members to vote ``no.''


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