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Congressman Donnelly Gives Floor Speech Opposing Proposed Cuts to Pell Grants

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Uploaded on Feb 16, 2011

On February 16, 2011, Congressman Donnelly gave a floor speech opposing proposed cuts to Pell Grants in H.R. 1. The text of his speech is below.

"Mr. Speaker, I rise to speak on H.R. 1

Access to an affordable, quality education is part of the American Dream. In our competitive global economy, a college degree is more important than ever. With annual tuition hikes outpacing inflation, the cost of attending college is increasing just as quickly as the importance of attending.

Making college more affordable has been one of my top priorities and should be a top priority for this Congress. Unfortunately, this bill sends the other message.

This bill threatens to cut Pell Grants by over $5.6 billion, denying millions of Americans, including over 20,000 students in my district, the chance to attend and graduate from college.

The number of my constituents receiving Pell Grants has increased by over 6,200. This is possible in large part by efforts I've supported in Congress to make college affordable and provide our students with the skills needed to compete in the 21st Century global economy.

Access to Pell Grants is often the deciding factor for a family when contemplating whether they can afford to send their son or daughter to college. It is often the deciding factor on whether or not a displaced worker can afford to go back to school to get retrained. It often the deciding factor on whether or not a potential student will have access to the world of opportunities that come with a college education.

We need to do fiscal belt-tightening, but cutting over $5.6 billion in financial aid for Americans seeking higher education so that they may better equip themselves to compete for the jobs of tomorrow is a self-destructive act.

Simply put, investing in education is an investment in our future. Cutting Pell Grants is detrimental to that future.

We need to stand up for America and make good financial decisions."

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