Statement on the College Cost Reduction Act

let me say about this landmark legislation, the college cost reduction of 2007 is yet another example of how this democratic congress is committed to moving our nation in a new and better direction. TimeCode: 12:55:37.6 and working on behalf of the american people. in short, this legislation will provide the single largest investment, investment in college financial aid. about $18 billion over the next TimeCode: 12:55:54.9 five years. now, that is about 1/15 of the mistake made in the entitlement you supported, my friend. it's the largest since the g.i. bill was funded in 1944. TimeCode: 12:56:10.6 the g.i. bill was anonymity. -- was anonymity. very frankly the greatest generation was worth investing in. that investment has made off 100 fold in the economy that this TimeCode: 12:56:27.3 greatest generation built in america. and it will do so in this case as well. and it does so at no new cost to the american taxpayer. by cutting excess subsidies paid by the federal government to lenders in the student loan TimeCode: 12:56:42.2 industry. the administration suggested $16 billion. we are a little above that. so there is not a disagreement whether or not there is an overpayment here. it's a question of where you are going to put your money. in fact, it includes a $750 million, not a lot of money, in TimeCode: 12:56:59.2 the scheme of billions of dollars and trillions of dollars, reduction in the deficit. a few months ago bill gates, the chairman and co-founder of the microsoft corporation and one ever our nation's great innovators wrote in the "washington post," and i quote, if we, the united states, are to TimeCode: 12:57:17.0 remain competitive, we need a work force that consists of the world's brightest minds. that's what this bill seeks to enhance. mr. gates added, and i quote again, education has always been the gateway to a better life in TimeCode: 12:57:31.3 this country, close quote. mr. speaker, this legislation not only recognizes that TimeCode: 12:57:37.0 education is a key to personal development, fulfillment, and success, but also and critically a crucial factor in our national competitiveness, our continued prosperity, and, yes, i suggest all of my colleagues, our TimeCode: 12:57:51.1 national security. simply stated this legislation will make a college education more affordable for millions of students and their families. the fact is college tuition today is exploding. tuition at four-year public colleges has grown by 35% in the TimeCode: 12:58:07.8 last five years. let me say in my state of maryland tuition costs has gone up 43% in the last four years. america cannot afford to shut people out of the access to college education if we are TimeCode: 12:58:23.8 going to be successful in world markets in a flat world, as tom friedman refers to it. too many students graduate with tremendous debt. and too many others simply don't go to college because they cannot afford it. to address this situation this bill will increase the maximum TimeCode: 12:58:40.7 pell grant scholarships by at least $500 over the next five years. that will not come close to what the pell grants initially when they were adopted replaced in tuition cost, about 70%. we are down to close to 30%. TimeCode: 12:58:56.5 when combined with other pell scholarship increases passed by -- proposed by congress this year, the maximum pell grant will reach $4,900 in 2028. $5,200 in 2010 up to kd 4,050 in 2006. TimeCode: 12:59:20.8 the bill also will cut interest in half on subsidized student loans over the next five years and it will guarantee that borrowers will not have to pay more than $15% of their correctionary income to loan TimeCode: 12:59:34.9 re-- discretionary income to loan repayments. in addition this bill seeks to ensure highly qualified teachers in every classroom, a crits cal need in our nation, by providing up-front tuition assistance to qualified students who commit to teaching in public schools in high poverty communities or high TimeCode: 12:59:51.4 need areas. that is important for our country's ability to compete and to develop every mind in america. there is not a child to waste in america. we know that. . it encourages loan for giveness, TimeCode: 13:00:11.9 for law enforcement officers, firefighters, nurses and others and it encourages landmark new investment, $500 million guaranteed for historically black colleges and universities, hispanic-serving institutions TimeCode: 13:00:27.3 and native or predominantly black institutions. mr. speaker, this legislation is a very significant and important step toward realizing the goal of making college affordable for every qualified student. i want to congratulate chairman miller once more and the staff TimeCode: 13:00:43.9 and all of the members of the committee, and mr. mckeon, for the positive role, whatever position one might take for or against, positive role that the committee has played. it's a historic investment in our people and our nation. TimeCode: 13:00:59.5 and i urge every member to strongly support this legislation. and i i yield back the balance of my time.