KENNEDY ON PASSAGE OF BILL TO EASE STUDENT LOAN PROCEDURES FOR SERVICE MEMBERS
WASHINGTON, DC—Senator Edward M. Kennedy today commended the Senate’spassage by voice vote last night of legislation permanently extending the provisions ofthe Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act, originally enacted in 2003.
The Act authorizes the Secretary of Education to waive or modify any statutory orregulatory provisions on federal student aid for service members and others during a waror other national emergency.
“The Act recognizes the many problems the service members face when they’re called toactive duty in such situations, but their college loans shouldn’t be one of them, saidSenator Kennedy. By permanently extending the 2003 law, we’re providing greaterassurance to our men and women in uniform that they won’t face unexpected burdensrelated to these loans while they defend our Nation.”
The Act authorizes the Secretary of Education to ease several statutory and regulatoryrequirements in federal student aid programs, including rules related to the applicationprocess, needs analysis and, default collection procedures. The Act covers the followingpersons, their spouses and dependents:
• Active duty military personnel serving during a war, military operation or nationalemergency;• Members of the National Guard performing such duties;• People who reside or are employed in an area declared a disaster area by anyfederal, state or local official in connection with a national emergency;• People who suffer economic hardship as a result of a war, military operation, ornational emergency.
The bill, was passed in the House of Representatives on Tuesday and will now be sent tothe President for his signature.