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Senator Murray Applauds Passage of Nearly $40 Billion for Higher Education and Support for Student Loan Borrowers in American Rescue Plan

(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Chair Patty Murray (D-WA), Chair of the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, released the following statements on the critical funding and support for higher education students, borrowers and institutions included in the American Rescue Plan.


The American Rescue Plan includes nearly $40 billion in funding for higher education to ensure institutions can implement public health measures and get their students much-needed emergency financial aid.


“This pandemic has thrown our higher education system into crisis. Students are struggling to afford basic necessities and scrape together the money they need for tuition—and institutions are grappling with rising costs to implement critical public health measures and budget shortfalls. And these challenges are even more severe for historically under-resourced institutions like HBCUs and community colleges, and students with low incomes, students of color and students with disabilities who have long-faced inequities in our higher education system.

“The American Rescue Plan will get students much-needed financial aid and ensure institutions can weather this storm. We must keep working to ensure higher education is a tool to address inequality, not reinforce it—and that’s exactly what the American Rescue Plan will help achieve.”


Additionally, the American Rescue Plan will make student loan forgiveness tax-free, ensuring that student loan borrowers are not forced to pay an unexpected tax bill if their loans are forgiven.


“Student loan borrowers desperately need relief—but in addition to reducing the amount borrowers owe, we’ve also got to make sure that we aren’t saddling them with an unexpected tax bill if their loans are forgiven. Student loan forgiveness should be tax-free—full stop—and that’s what the American Rescue Plan accomplishes."


Senator Murray has fought to provide students and higher education institutions with the resources they need to weather this pandemic. She first introduced her Coronavirus Child Care and Education Relief Act (CCCERA) in June and she introduced her plan to reduce student loan debt in March, which also called for student loan forgiveness to be tax-free.