U.S. Senators Introduce Bipartisan Legislation to Continue Perkins Loan Program


9/19/2017 8:00 AM

The effort to extend the financial aid program builds on legislation introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this year.

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A bipartisan group of U.S. senators is working to continue a much-needed federal student aid program before it expires on Sept. 30.

The Perkins Loan Program is a critical source of funding for students who may not qualify for other higher education loan options.

U.S. Sens. Tammy Baldwin, D-Wis.; Rob Portman, R-Ohio; Bob Casey, D-Pa.; and Susan Collins, R-Maine.; introduced legislation to extend the Perkins Loan Program for another two years, according to a news release from Baldwin’s office.

U.S. Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill.; Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif.;  Ron Johnson, R-Wis.; Jack Reed, D-R.I.; and Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., are also original co-sponsors of the legislation.

Without action from Congress, approximately 1,500 colleges and universities across the U.S. will not be able to offer the loans that provide approximately 500,000 students access to financial aid, according to the news release.

“For generations, the Perkins Loan Program has helped students build a path to the middle class, not debt,” Baldwin said. “This is a program worth fighting for. Two years ago, we successfully saved Perkins Loans by working across party lines, and I urge my colleagues in the Senate to join us in this bipartisan effort again.”

U.S. Reps. Mark Pocan, D-Wis., and Elise Stefanik, R-N.Y., introduced companion legislation to extend the Perkins Loan Program in the U.S. House of Representatives earlier this year.

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