Senators to Introduce Bipartisan Perkins Extension

September 15, 2017

A bipartisan group of senators will today introduce legislation that would extend the Perkins Loan program, which is set to expire Sept. 30, for another two years.

Senators Tammy Baldwin, a Wisconsin Democrat; Bob Casey, a Pennsylvania Democrat; Susan Collins, a Maine Republican; and Rob Portman, an Ohio Republican, are co-sponsoring the legislation, which is identical to a bipartisan bill agreed to in 2015. Companion legislation has already been introduced in the House.

The program allows about 1,500 colleges and universities to make low-interest loans to students. The federal government hasn't funded the program for well over a decade. Instead, it is paid for mostly by borrowers repaying their loans.

Senator Lamar Alexander, the Tennessee Republican who chairs the Senate education committee, has called for Congress to end the program in order to simplify federal financial aid. His office had described the 2015 deal as a managed shutdown of the Perkins program. The White House budget released in May also proposed ending the program.

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