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Rep. Clarke Advocates for America’s Youth

Stressing the Importance of Healthcare Reform and Student Loan Reform For Young People

Washington D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Yvette D. Clarke (D-NY) joined the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, Chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee, Rep. George Miller, and Rep. Tammy Baldwin at a press conference highlighting the importance of passing Healthcare Reform and Student Loan Reform for young people. She released the following statement:

“First, I would like to thank House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and the Democratic Leadership for inviting me here today. I also want to recognize Chairman George Miller and Congresswoman Tammy Baldwin.

“Right now, we are living in a pivotal moment in our nation’s history. Our dedication to America, particularly to our young people, is being tested like never before.

“This week, we are going to ensure that all Americans have access to quality, affordable healthcare. We are also taking steps to guarantee that all students have access to higher education – without being burdened by debt.

“It is shameful that so many students are graduating with a significant amount of debt. Today’s graduates leave school with an average debt of $23,187 dollars. Fixing a broken student loan system ensures America’s long term economic success, and the sustainability of American families.

“That is why I am pleased that Congress is enacting provisions from the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act. These provisions represent an unprecedented investment of tens of billions of dollars in Pell Grants.

“This investment will increase the maximum Pell Grant award from $5,550 to a maximum of $6,900 by 2019. Each year, about 8 million U.S. students rely on Pell Grants to help pay for college.

“Finally, by eliminating the banks as middlemen and lending directly to students, this legislation will produce $1 billion dollars in savings. These savings will be directly reinvested into the Pell Grant program, thereby helping hard working students and their families pay for college.

“To America’s young people, know that my Democratic colleagues and I will not let you down! We will not turn our backs on student loan reform! We will not turn our backs on hard working students and their families! Let’s pass student loan reform now!”