Pelosi Statement on the 50th Anniversary of the Higher Education Act

November 6, 2015
Press Release
Washington, D.C. – Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi today released this statement in commemoration of the 50th anniversary of the Higher Education Act (HEA), which was signed into law by President Lyndon Baines Johnson on November 8, 1965:

“The Higher Education Act is one of America’s greatest legislative victories.  When President Johnson signed this landmark legislation into law, he said: ‘This legislation is key to our nation’s social and technological and economic and moral progress.’  Half a century later, HEA continues to fuel our progress and strengthen our democracy.

“Education is the single most important investment a nation can make in its future and a family can make in its children.  Yet House Republicans have consistently presented budgets that cut Pell Grants and undermine students’ ability to afford the higher education they need to succeed.  Today, the crushing burden of student loan debt weighs on the lives of millions of Americans – standing between them and their ability to buy a house, start a business, or begin a family.  For the sake of our future and our economy, we must do more to address college affordability, including passing the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act to allow federal and private student loan borrowers to refinance their loans at more affordable rates.

“As we mark the 50th anniversary of the Higher Education Act, Democrats remain committed to our nation’s students and hard-working families.  With Congress currently working on a reauthorization of HEA, Democrats will work to ensure that the reauthorization builds on the successes of the past and expands the access of more students to an affordable and quality higher education.  Together, Democrats will continue to fight for all students of all backgrounds having the resources needed to achieve their dreams and strengthen our nation.”