Miller Hails House Approval of Budget Conference Agreement

Apr 29, 2009 Issues: Education, Labor

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today the House voted to approve final passage of the conference report for the Budget Resolution for Fiscal Year 2010, which help will turn the economy around by investing in strategies for long-term growth – education, health care, and energy and cutting the deficit by two-thirds by 2013. The Senate is expected to vote on final passage tonight.

U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-CA), the chairman of the House Education and
Labor Committee, hailed the budget as a roadmap for rebuilding the
nation’s middle class and paving the way for long-term economic growth.

“From top to bottom, this budget does right by our schoolchildren, students, families and workers. It will get our economy back on track and help rebuild our middle class by turning our current crises in energy, health care and education into opportunities for future prosperity.

“It will allow us to finally address the injustices posed by our broken health care system and provide quality and affordable health care choices for all Americans.

“It will build on investments we’ve already made to mitigate the economy’s impact on our schools, so that the quality of our children’s education doesn’t suffer. With families increasing relying on school nutrition programs in this economy, it also will improve access to healthy, affordable meals at school.

“It will allow us to create the good, green jobs of the future and transform our economy for the 21st century by investing in clean energy.

“And it will provide much needed relief to families that have sacrificed to send their kids to college – by working hard and saving – only to have their plans changed by the economic downturn. Our budget keep this crisis from pricing Americans out of a college degree by allowing us to increase grant aid for students and make the federal student loan programs they rely on more stable, cost-effective and efficient. And we’ll do it without costing taxpayers a dime.

“This budget adopts President Obama’s principles of fiscal honesty, accountability, and transparency. It will help us get the most out of taxpayer dollars by eliminating waste and abuse and focusing on strategies that will yield substantial returns.

“This budget, made possible by President Obama’s leadership, is a roadmap for a new direction that rebuilds our middle class, regains our competitiveness, and grows our economy for years to come.”

BACKGROUND

Specifically, the budget includes reconciliation instructions that enable the House Education and Labor Committee to enact reforms that will make college more affordable and, along with other committees of jurisdiction, expand access to affordable, quality health insurance.

In the case of education, the budget includes instructions for the committee to enact reforms that will produce $1 billion in savings over five years. Miller has announced he intends to use these instructions to increase grant aid for college students at no additional cost to taxpayers by reforming the federal student loan programs.

One student loan reform option that could be explored is President Obama’s proposal to increase Pell Grant scholarships by almost $100 billion over the next ten years, which would be entirely paid for by using federal funds to originate all new federal college loans starting in 2010.

To view the CBO estimate of this proposal, click here.

For more information on President Obama’s proposal, click here.          

For more information on the FY 2010 Budget Resolution, click here.