Higher Education Extension Act of 2015by Senator Kelly Ayotte
Posted on 2015-12-16
AYOTTE. Mr. President, I thank the Senator from Tennessee. The
Perkins loan is a very important loan program to people in New
Hampshire and to 5,000 students in New Hampshire who are current
While I know my colleagues who are on the floor who have fought so hard for this--Senator Baldwin, Senator Casey, and Senator Portman-- would have preferred that the Senate take up and pass the House's Higher Education Extension Act prior to Perkins expiring, because all of us were on the floor on September 29 as well, I do very much appreciate the spirit of compromise that the Senator from Tennessee has shown in working with us to extend this very important loan program for 2 years, and I thank him for that and for not letting this expire.
I thank my colleagues on the floor who have fought so hard for the students in their States who, like the students in New Hampshire, the 5,000 students who received a Perkins loan during the last academic year--this is very important to those students. I have heard from them, the colleges, universities, and financial aid administrators in New Hampshire, who have urged that it is very important, especially before we end the year with the Perkins Loan Program expired, that we pass this extension.
Certainly I look forward to continuing to work to make sure that all of our student loan programs are easier for people to use; that they are simpler; and that we make sure young people in this country and those who are returning to education as well--perhaps in a change of career or a new course in their life--that they get the opportunity, no matter where they come from or their economic background, to reach their full potential in this country because that is the essence of the American dream.
Again, this program is very important to my home State. This program is also important to half a million students across the country. It hits a lot of students.
Unfortunately, in my home State of New Hampshire, we have the distinction of having the highest average student loan debt in the country. So every bit helps students. These 5,000 students in New Hampshire--I want them to know this program will continue, and I want to make sure the people of New Hampshire understand that I am going to continue to fight for access for all of our students in New Hampshire and those who want to have better educational opportunities to better their lives and reach their full potential.
I thank the Senator from Tennessee, and certainly I thank the other Senators who are on the floor on a bipartisan basis who fought so hard for the Perkins loan extension.