Student Loans

Road ahead: Impeachment suspense drowns out government funding debate
There’s a full schedule of open hearings at the House Intelligence Committee

The House Ways and Means Committee hearing room that the Intelligence panel is using for impeachment hearings will again be center stage this week. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Seldom does an imminent deadline to avoid a government shutdown fly under the radar, but that might happen this week with most eyes on impeachment hearings in the House.

Congress will need to pass another continuing resolution to keep the government funded past Thursday, as leaders of the House and Senate Appropriations panels look to finalize subcommittee allocations for the delayed fiscal 2020 bills, in conjunction with top leadership and representatives from the administration.

Kamala Harris discusses campaign struggles with Cosmo
Democratic presidential hopeful also talks women’s issues, climate change and skin care

California Sen. Kamala Harris is latest presidential contender to sit down with Cosmopolitan magazine. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

There’s still five women in the race for the Democratic presidential nomination and after three men beat them to it, one stopped by the headquarters of the magazine that bills itself the “biggest media brand in the world for young women” for an interview.

California Sen. Kamala Harris, in the latest entry for Cosmopolitan magazine’s “The Candidates Come to Cosmo” series, discussed tough decisions to pare her campaign staff, issues such as climate change, and even her skin care regimen.

Hill staffers worried about expenses turn to student loan benefit
Repayment program helps staffers keep costs down and remain on Hill

Congressional workers say the loan repayment program provides an opportunity for those trying to manage the cost of education while embarking on a Capitol Hill career. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Kendra Horn was a recent law school graduate in 2004 when she took a job as press secretary to fellow Oklahoma Democrat Brad Carson. Fourteen years before her own election to the House, she made the move from Oklahoma to Washington and almost immediately felt the pressures of a tight budget.

With a pile of student loans and a low starting salary, she tried to keep her expenses to a minimum. She kept her food costs low, scoping out the cheaper places to eat, and paid for groceries on her credit card. But with all of her budgeting, she wasn’t making enough to make payments on her student loans.

Educating K Street: Colleges and universities seek influence in Congress, executive branch
Schools are in the midst of heated immigration, health care and technology debates

Stu Van Scoyoc is president and CEO of Van Scoyoc Associates. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Lobbyist Stu Van Scoyoc began working for the University of Alabama system three decades ago, helping the school smooth over a problem the 1986 tax overhaul created for its pension program. It’s still a client.

Lobbying on behalf of colleges and universities has been a mainstay of K Street work for years for firms like Van Scoyoc Associates. And many of the biggest spending university systems maintain their own lobbying outposts in Washington with in-house employees who monitor Capitol Hill and executive branch debates and look for federal funding opportunities, relying often on home-state and alumni connections.

Path to defeat Trump ‘doesn’t flow through the coast,’ Bullock tells teachers group
Despite sagging poll numbers, Montana governor forges ahead with 2020 presidential pitch

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock, center, greets Randi Weingarten, left, president of the American Federation of Teachers, and Darrell Capwell, before a town hall at the AFT on Thursday. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Montana governor and 2020 Democratic presidential candidate Steve Bullock didn’t qualify for the debate stage in September, and he is polling near the bottom of the 20 remaining White House hopefuls.

But at the American Federation of Teachers headquarters in Washington, D.C., Bullock said Thursday he can win back Trump voters from the American heartland while retaining support in traditional liberal strongholds. The self-described populist moderate with executive experience spent time taking questions from the audience focused on education issues. 

Comedian Hasan Minhaj rankles, entertains at student debt hearing
Congressional hearings can be dry but not today

Things got a little testy between Rep. Sean Duffy, seen here, and Hasan Minhaj at Tuesday's hearing. (CQ Roll Call Screenshot)

You may not think a hearing on solving the $1.6 trillion student loan debt crisis would provide many laughs, but comedian Hasan Minhaj racked up a few, to the annoyance of some Republicans, while testifying before the House Financial Services Committee.

Tuesday’s hearing wasn’t short on tense exchanges, either, even from the jump.

Hasan Minhaj testifies at student loans hearing

Hasan Minhaj testified at a House hearing Tuesday on student loans.(Graham MacGillivray via House Financial Services Committee/CQ-Roll Call)

Comedian and host of the Netflix show “Patriot Act” Hasan Minhaj testified at a House Financial Services Committee hearing Tuesday. He was part of a five-person panel to brief lawmakers on issues with the federal student loan program. In February, Minhaj dedicated a 27-minute episode of the show to the issue.

Opening Statement: 

Taxing the rich won’t pay for Democratic promises
2020 candidates enter a fiscal wonderland where absurdity has replaced reality

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and the rest of the Democratic presidential field are offering policy proposals the country can ill afford, unless we grow the economy at light speed, Winston writes. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call file photo)

OPINION — There is a lot to unpack when it comes to the Democratic presidential candidates’ many proposals to transform America, but the real question isn’t whether they will work. They won’t. It’s about how these Democrats expect to grow the economy to pay for their plans because simply “taxing the rich” won’t cut it.

A brief look at their various policy proposals on everything from climate to college tuition is an eye-opening walk through a fiscal wonderland where absurdity has replaced reality. Climate and college tuition are both legitimate issues. So is health care. But the Democrats’ solutions are both fiscally irresponsible and, in large part, impractical.

Congress has college affordability in its grasp. They should vote for ISAs
Income share agreements reduce risk for students while incentivizing schools

Income sharing agreements protect students from paying for educational experiences that don’t create value for them in the labor market, Price writes. (Courtesy iStock)

OPINION — Each year, our higher education system confers roughly two million bachelor’s degrees. Unfortunately, it also produces one million student loan defaults. This isn’t simply “two steps forward, one step back.” This is a system-wide failure that, while creating immeasurable value for some, is financially crippling many others along the way. We need college to generate more value for more students.

Some on Capitol Hill are vying for free college. While aspirational, such calls are unlikely to succeed in today’s political environment, and don’t address the broken business model of traditional higher education in the first place. Instead, Congress needs to address not just how much students pay for college, but also “how” they pay. Income share agreements, or ISAs, are an option worth considering.

Plans to erase student debt gain steam in presidential race
2020 Democrats split on who should benefit, but even moderates back some free college

Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn unveil legislation Tuesday to forgive student loan debt. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

In a crowded field of Democratic presidential contenders jockeying for progressive support, debt-free college and student debt cancellation are emerging as marquee policy proposals — ones that could appeal to the one in five Americans who carry student debt.

Plans vary, and there is wide disagreement about who should benefit and how such policies should be funded. But even the more moderate candidates in the field are calling for at least some access to free college, in recognition of the growing burden student loans have placed on a generation of graduates. Polling, however, shows its importance to voters varies sharply with age.