NAICU Washington Update

Renewed Push in House to Pass HEA Reauthorization

May 10, 2018

House Committee on Education and the Workforce Chair Virginia Foxx (R-NC) continues to reach out to her fellow House Republicans to bring up her Higher Education Act reauthorization legislation, the PROSPER Act, for consideration before the full House of Representatives. Based on member-to-member conversations and staff briefings, it appears that the PROSPER Act could be on a path to achieving the legislative momentum needed to pass the House.
Many influential members of the Republican caucus have voiced concerns about some of the more controversial elements of the PROSPER Act, including the elimination of the in-school interest subsidy for undergraduate borrowers, the termination of the campus-based aid programs, and the elimination of Public Service Loan Forgiveness. Due to the previous concerns of the Republican caucus, the legislation stalled in the House and has not received any floor time for consideration and passage.
However, Rep. Foxx has renewed her push to pass the PROSPER Act, promising limited changes to the bill to certain constituency groups in order to satisfy the public policy and political concerns raised by her fellow Republican lawmakers. The most likely change could come in the area of Public Service Loan Forgiveness, although its reinstatement might only be for those in military service.  Little progress seems to have been made on reversing some of the most critical cuts to the core student aid programs. 
While no formal timetable has yet been established, it is possible the PROSPER Act could be considered as early as June. The PROSPER Act was introduced on December 1, 2017 and passed out of the Education & the Workforce Committee less than two weeks later. 

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