Senate Appropriators Boost Pell Grant

June 27, 2018

Senate appropriators on Tuesday advanced a fiscal year 2019 funding bill that boosts the Pell Grant and appropriates new funds to address eligibility issues for borrowers seeking Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

The funding package would increase the maximum Pell Grant by $100 to $6,195; a corresponding House appropriations bill would keep the maximum grant flat.

The Senate spending bill would also allocate another $350 million to continue relief for student borrowers who expected to qualify for the PSLF program but have lost eligibility because of servicing issues or other problems. A March omnibus spending package included the same amount for that eligibility fix.

Senator Roy Blunt, the chairman of the appropriations subcommittee for labor, health and human services, and education, also threw cold water on a White House proposal to merge the Departments of Education and Labor.

Blunt, a Missouri Republican, according to multiple news outlets said the plan is a "pretty good idea" but doesn't have the votes needed to go anywhere in the Senate and wouldn't be part of the FY19 appropriations process.

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