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House Approves Higher Education Act Extension

On March 14, the House approved, by voice vote, a bill (H.R. 4911) to extend programs authorized by the Higher Education Act of 1965 (P.L. 105-244) through June 30, 2006. Previous legislation (P.L. 109-150) temporarily extended these programs through March 31, 2006 (see The Source, 12/21/05).

Education and the Workforce Committee Chair Howard McKeon (R-CA) stated, “It is my hope that the House will soon renew remaining Higher Education Act programs by passing the College Access and Opportunity Act, H.R. 609. This bill would strengthen the Pell grant program, empower parents and students through sunshine and transparency in college costs and accreditation, and improve college access programs.”

Rep. Dale Kildee (D-MI) contended, “Most of the damaging changes to the Higher Education Act in student aid have already been passed in reconciliation, which I opposed. That action forever removed nearly $12 billion from student aid programs and missed an opportunity to reinvest in students already struggling to pay for college. With this highly contentious and misguided portion no longer connected to the reauthorization, I hope we can now move forward in a bipartisan way as we reauthorize the few remaining items of the Higher Education Act.”

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