House GOP Education Bill Would Cut Billions In Spending

Rob Shimshock | Education Reporter

Taxpayers would save approximately $40 billion if an education bill drafted by Republicans in the House of Representatives becomes law, according to a Wednesday report.

The bill calls for an end to loan forgiveness for students who borrow in the future, which would save about $25 billion in the next decade, as well as federal repayment based on income, which would save around $15 billion, according to The Washington Post.

The Congressional Budget Office predicts that, if ratified, the bill would cut federal student aid by $15 billion, a decision which Virginia Democrat Rep. Bobby Scott criticized.

“The CBO’s score confirms what we already knew to be true – this bill makes college more expensive for America’s students and working families,” Scott, who serves on the House Education Committee, told WaPo. “The bill forces students to borrow more and then pay more to repay their loans.”

Meanwhile, proponents of Promoting Real Opportunity, Success and Prosperity through Education Reform (PROSPER) Act, sponsored by Kentucky Republican Rep. Brett Guthrie and North Carolina Republican Rep. Virginia Foxx, emphasize its lack of wastefulness.

“The reforms within the PROSPER Act are necessary to provide students with a high-quality education, and fix a system that has not been serving their needs,” said Michael Woeste, a spokesman for the House Education Committee. “Not only have we been able to put forward major reforms that improve the postsecondary education system for students like the expansion of Pell grants…but we have shown that those major reforms can be done while still being fiscally responsible.”

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U.S. Senate members are still in the drafting stage for their version of the bill, which has a prospective early spring date set for amendments and debate.

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