New Congress Expected to Give Education Higher Profile: Initiatives Plan to Improve College Access and Affordability

By Dervarics, Charles | Diverse Issues in Higher Education, November 30, 2006 | Go to article overview

New Congress Expected to Give Education Higher Profile: Initiatives Plan to Improve College Access and Affordability


Dervarics, Charles, Diverse Issues in Higher Education


With a major shakeup looming on Capitol Hill, education advocates are preparing for a new environment in which Democrats will seek more financial aid assistance and give higher education more visibility in Congress.

Democrats on the 2006 midterm campaign trail promised to cut student loan interest rates in half, create new education tax breaks and expand Pell Grant funding. By winning a majority in the House of Representatives and gaining control of the Senate, the party is raising expectations for quick action on several fronts in early 2007.

"Democrats will be under pressure to deliver on access and affordability," says Barmak Nassirian, associate executive director of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.

As outlined by U.S. Rep. Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., the likely new Speaker of the House, the Democrat's education agenda includes three major higher education components:

* Student loans: Cut interest rates in half for student and parent loans, to 3.4 percent and 4.3 percent, respectively.

* Tax credits: Simplify existing education tax breaks and grant a $3,000 credit, or enough to cover 55 percent of the average tuition and fees at a public four-year college.

* Pell Grants: Increase the maximum grant for needy students by 25 percent, to $5,100.

Democrats may seek some of these changes within days of taking control of Congress in January. Within the first 100 hours, Pelosi plans to seek action on a number of issues, including a minimum wage increase. Lower interest rates may become part of that package as well, says Nassirian.

Financial institutions, however, are likely to oppose interest rate cuts, he adds, and the banking industry has allies in both parties.

Should House Democrats move quickly on these issues, action in the more deliberative Senate may take more time. Democrats will hold only a razor-thin advantage in a chamber known for seeking consensus on many issues.

"It's going to be tough to go into [the Senate] with anything resembling a mandate" Nassirian says. However, he adds that the small increase in Pell Grants recommended by House Republicans "would be one of the least controversial changes."

U.S. Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, D-Mass., is poised to take over the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions. U.S. Rep George Miller, D-Calif., is in line to run the House Committee on Education and the Workforce. U.S. Rep. David Obey, D-Wis., who Nassirian calls "a longtime supporter of higher education" will likely lead the House Committee on Appropriations, which controls the purse strings for thousands of federal programs, including those in education.

More education funding also is a priority for the Congressional Black Caucus, all of whom are Democrats. Overwhelming support from Black voters helped carry Democrats to victory in the midterm elections, says Dr. Ron Waiters, a political scientist and director of the African American Leadership Institute at the University of Maryland.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

New Congress Expected to Give Education Higher Profile: Initiatives Plan to Improve College Access and Affordability
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.