10.14.21

Rep. Takano leads 22 Members in Sending a Letter to Speaker Pelosi and Leader Hoyer in Support of America’s College Promise in the Reconciliation Package

Washington, DC – Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) along with twenty-two Members of Congress sent a letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer expressing their strong support for President Joe Biden’s America’s College Promise proposals to remain in the reconciliation package.

In the letter, the Members state, “Thank you for your steadfast commitment and leadership in advancing President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda through the process of budget reconciliation. As members of the California delegation, we are expressing our strong support for the President’s America’s College Promise (ACP) proposals to remain in the reconciliation package. We strongly oppose any efforts to remove related language, make cuts to the program, or otherwise scale back any of these efforts. The ACP plan is a historic one that would safeguard America’s future by boosting the middle class. As Congress debates on the best path forward, it is imperative any budget reconciliation package include universal tuition-free community college and other vital college access and success efforts. Then presidential-candidate Joseph Biden campaigned on the promise of free community college, which would represent the largest and most significant expansion of college access since the Higher Education Act of 1965, and we ask you to fulfill that promise as reconciliation moves forward.”

They continue, “During the COVID-19 pandemic, community colleges were devastated by significant drops in enrollment and cuts to state funding. As community colleges struggled to stay afloat, students were afflicted with housing and hunger insecurity. Unfortunately, students of color were impacted the most. In order to reengage students who left college during the pandemic, it is essential the ACP remain in the reconciliation package to transform postsecondary education in the United States. Postsecondary education is the key to success and community colleges have long remained the backbone of America’s higher education system. Students from all backgrounds attend community colleges to advance their education and attain middle class status. One in four community college students in the country attends a community college in the state of California. Congress must capitalize on this historic opportunity to make a transformational investment to increase college affordability. The ACP also makes significant investments in underresourced institutions such as Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, and Minority-Serving Institutions, and invests in efforts to improve equity and success across the higher education system.”

And they conclude by saying, “Increasing support for community colleges will result in increased degree attainment and improved employment outcomes. Students have a strong desire to attend college, but rising tuitions prices deter potential students from enrollment. We must make good on our promise that we will do everything in our power to make college more accessible and affordable for those who need it most. Free community college will benefit students and allow businesses to grow with the help of an educated workforce. We urge you to retain the ACP proposal in the budget reconciliation package. These programs enjoy overwhelming support from the public and should not be removed during negotiations. Thank you for your attention to this matter.”

The full text of the letter is here and below:

 

October 12, 2021

 

The Honorable Nancy Pelosi

Speaker

United States House of Representatives

Washington, DC 20515

 

The Honorable Steny Hoyer

Majority Leader

United States House of Representatives

Washington, DC 20515

Dear Speaker Pelosi and Majority Leader Hoyer,

Thank you for your steadfast commitment and leadership in advancing President Biden’s Build Back Better agenda through the process of budget reconciliation. As members of the California delegation, we are expressing our strong support for the President’s America’s College Promise (ACP) proposals to remain in the reconciliation package. We strongly oppose any efforts to remove related language, make cuts to the program, or otherwise scale back any of these efforts.

The ACP plan is a historic one that would safeguard America’s future by boosting the middle class. As Congress debates on the best path forward, it is imperative any budget reconciliation package include universal tuition-free community college and other vital college access and success efforts. Then presidential-candidate Joseph Biden campaigned on the promise of free community college, which would represent the largest and most significant expansion of college access since the Higher Education Act of 1965, and we ask you to fulfill that promise as reconciliation moves forward.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, community colleges were devastated by significant drops in enrollment and cuts to state funding. As community colleges struggled to stay afloat, students were afflicted with housing and hunger insecurity. Unfortunately, students of color were impacted the most. In order to reengage students who left college during the pandemic, it is essential the ACP remain in the reconciliation package to transform postsecondary education in the United States.

Postsecondary education is the key to success and community colleges have long remained the backbone of America’s higher education system. Students from all backgrounds attend community colleges to advance their education and attain middle class status. One in four community college students in the country attends a community college in the state of California. Congress must capitalize on this historic opportunity to make a transformational investment to increase college affordability. The ACP also makes significant investments in underresourced institutions such as Historically Black Colleges and Universities, Tribal Colleges and Universities, and Minority-Serving Institutions, and invests in efforts to improve equity and success across the higher education system.

Increasing support for community colleges will result in increased degree attainment and improved employment outcomes. Students have a strong desire to attend college, but rising tuitions prices deter potential students from enrollment. We must make good on our promise that we will do everything in our power to make college more accessible and affordable for those who need it most. Free community college will benefit students and allow businesses to grow with the help of an educated workforce.

We urge you to retain the ACP proposal in the budget reconciliation package. These programs enjoy overwhelming support from the public and should not be removed during negotiations.

Thank you for your attention to this matter.

 

Sincerely,

 

Rep. Mark Takano

Rep. Adam Schiff

Rep. Alan Lowenthal

Rep. Barbara Lee

Rep. Doris Matsui

Rep. Eric Swalwell

Rep. Grace Napolitano

Rep. Jerry McNerney

Rep. Jimmy Gomez

Rep. Jimmy Panetta

Rep. John Garamendi

Rep. Josh Harder

Rep. Juan Vargas

Rep. Luis Correa

Rep. Julia Brownley

Rep. Karen Bass

Rep. Linda Sánchez

Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard

Rep. Mark DeSaulnier

Rep. Nanette Diaz Barragán

Rep. Salud Carbajal

Rep. Ted Lieu

Rep. Tony Cardenas

 

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Press Contact

Lana Abbasi (202) 225-2305