There’s a lot going on in the Senate right now. Democrats are currently blocking the nomination of Neil Gorsuch, which will likely result in Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) using the much-ballyhooed “nuclear option.” A government shutdown might be triggered if Republicans and Democrats can’t agree on budget agenda items such as funding for President Donald Trump’s wall and defunding of Planned Parenthood. The Senate Intelligence Committee is ramping up its investigation of alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 election. Trump cabinet appointments, such as Alex Acosta for Secretary of Labor, are still being considered. And, now, two of the upper chamber’s most liberal members (Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren), along with representatives Keith Ellison (D-Minn.) and Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), have jointly introduced a bill that would aim to make college more affordable for more Americans.
The “College for All Act” was proposed by the aforementioned Congress members today and includes a bill that would be introduced to the House of Representatives on Wednesday, according to the International Business Times. As a part of the proposed legislation, students of families earning less than $125,000 a year would have free public tuition.
Such a bill, which would also work to reduce the almost $2 trillion in student debt, has been floated by Sen. Sanders in the past and stands in contrast to President Trump’s plans for student debt, which would cap tuition repayment at 12.5 percent and forgive all direct loans after 15 years instead of 20. But such plans haven’t been formally introduced to Congress yet and raise questions (such as: What happens to existing provisions that forgive student debt before a 15-year period?).
Each proposal also differs in how more affordable college tuition would be achieved. President Trump’s plan toes the Republican party line and addresses the issue via tax cuts and incentives. Meanwhile, the “College for All Act” would have the federal government cover two-thirds of these costs while state governments would pick up the remaining third.
Such proposals are at odds with one another and will lead to plenty of debates; the issue of student debt will likely have to wait until the Congressional caseload is lessened.