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tv   US Senate  CSPAN  December 16, 2015 2:00pm-3:01pm EST

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mr. toomey: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from pennsylvania. mr. toomey: thank you, mr. president. i am going to make a unanimous consent request, b but first i want to say a few words about the legislation about which the request pertains, and i want to thank my senate -- my colleague, senator bob casey, for joining me on this. it was back in 2014 that senator casey and i introduced the eric williams correctional officer protection act. it's a bipartisan bill, mr. president, and i.t. got a simple idea -- it's got a simple idea. the side to better enable those men and women who protect us every day by working as corrections officers, to better enable them to protect themselves in the very dangerous environments in which they go to work every day. amazingly enough, under the
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bureau of prison policy, prison guards are often placed on duty guarding large numbers of inmates by themselves, unarmed, and with no meaningful way to defend themselves. officer eric williams of wayne county, pennsylvania, paid the price for this policy. in february of 2013, eric williams was working alone in a housing unit of a federal prison, a unit of 125 inmates. carrying out a radio, handcuffs on the one hand a seand a set oe had no one with him to provide backup. when a gang member savagely attacked and killed officer williams. the inmate used a homemade weapon to stab eric 129 times. he beat eric so badly that his
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skull was crushed. the dwadge damage was so severet eric's father stated "i didn't even recognize my boy laying in the casket." eric was just 34 years old. this bureau of prison policy is very misguided. we send our law enforcement officers alone without defensive gear to guard large numbers that include convicted killers. so i, working with senator casey and with eric williams' parents don and jean williams, we introduced the eric williams correctional officer protection act. and should i point out that don and jean williams have been absolutely heroic advocates in insisting that correction officers have this tool at their disposal. and when it is, it is a bill that would require the bureau of prisons to issue nonlethal pepper spray to guards at high- and medium-security prisons so
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that these guards will have some means to protect themselves, some means of self-defense. the and we know this works. we know this works because there are many, many documented cases where a violent attack is immediately ended by deploying pepper spray. the fact is pepper spray completely and immediately incapacitates an attacker, and it does so doing so permanent damage -- doing no permanent damage. it was too late for eric williams but there are thousands of correctional officers across mechanic who are working in dangerous -- across america who are working in dangerous environments and if we pass this, we're probably going to save some of their lives over time. the bill has been endorsed by the american federation of government employees, by the federal law enforcement officers association, by the council of prisons local 33, and i am pleased to announce that thanks
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to the concerted and, as i said, heroic efforts of eric's parents, and law enforcement officers across the country, i believe that the senate is ready to enact this legislation. i do want to thank my cosponsors, senators manchin, mcconnell, cornyn, inhofe, kirk, and vitter. and before i make the formal unanimous consent request, mr. president, i will yield to the senior senator from pennsylvania, who has joined me in this effort from the beginning, senator casey. mr. casey: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from pennsylvania. mr. casey: thank you, mr. president. i want to thank senator toomey for his work on this legislation, and our work together, and i especially want to commend, as senator toomey did as well, don and jean williams, the parents of corrections officer eric williams. i won't reiterate the horrific nature of his death.
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senator toomey outlined that. i can't imagine more of a nightmare for a corrections officer and for his or her family. we can bring some measure of protection to these officers by making sure that every possible circumstance is one in which the officer has pepper spray to be able to prevent an attack or to slow an attack down -- slow it down enough, i should say, until that corrections officer gets help. so i want to say how much we appreciate the fact that this is bipartisan. this is one of those issues that should not have any kind of political division. senator toomey outlined the challenge and also the solution for this problem. this is not a guarantee, but it means that if a corrections officer -- and they're always
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outnumbered, by the way --er in a outnumbered -- if they're outnumbered, they will have some means of protection. i want to mention one thing that i forgot about or maybe never fully understood until i was in a line for the viewing at correction officer eric willia williams' viewing before his funeral. it was the -- the line was full of law enforcement officers, and i think sometimes we forget, and it was made clear to me that night, that these individuals are part of law enforcement. just like prisers a like policee local level or state police officers or other law enforcement personnel, when you tbhorwork in a federal prison, u are part of law enforcement. so those of us who work hard to provide resources for law enforcement should once again support legislation like this. so i'll submit a longer
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statement for the record, but i want to thank senator toomey for his work and i want to thank those who made this possible, and we hope we can have this legislation pass through the senate before we leave by the end of this weefnlg week. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from pennsylvania. mr. toomey: thank you, mr. president. again, i want to thank senator casey for his excellent work on this. and at this time, mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the committee on judiciary be discharged from further consideration of s. 238 and the senate proceed to its immediate consideration. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: s. 238, a bill to amend title 18, united states code, to authorize the director of the bureau of prisons to issue oleo resum capsicum spray to the bureau of prisons. the presiding officer: is there objection sno without
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without objection, the committee is discharge and the senate will proceed to the measure. mr. toomey: i ask thought bill be read a third time and passed, the motion to reconsider be considered made and laid on the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. toomey: thank you, mr. president. i yield the floor. the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mr. alexander: mr. president, i ask consent that i be allowed to enter into a colloquy with senators ayotte, baldwin, casey, and portman -- the presiding officer: is there objection? without objection. mr. alexander: -- and ... thank you, mr. president. if it is agreeable to the senators, i will -- i will make a few remarks introducing the
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subject of the colloquy, and then the senators will speak in that order. i'm here today to talk about the federal perkins loan program extension act of 2015, which is a substitute to h.r. 3594, and i have a bill which has been taken to the desk, and the original sponsors of the bill, which i will ask to be considered at the conclusion of the colloquy, are senators ayotte, baldwin, johnson, casey, cochran, bozeman, and myself. mr. president, we've debated the perkins loan several times on the floor of the senate, and twice i have opposed -- i have objected to the house bill to extend the perkins loan program. this is a program that was set to expire in 2012. since the 1998 reauthorization
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of the higher education act, that date wasn't extended the last time we reauthorized the higher education act. so this is a program that in 1998 the congress and the president decided would expire in 2012. the expiration of the loan program shouldn't have been a surprise to anybody. it hasn't received appropriations since 2004. the department of education reminded institutions of that earlier this year, and i objected to the extension on the grounds that the current federal loan program, one that all students are able to use, not selected students, has a lower interest rate rand a better repayment program than the per canes loan program. i objected because i believe there should only be one federal loan program for undergraduate students as well as someone for graduate students and one for parents. that was the testimony we received in our education committee, the help committee.
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senator bennet and i and a bipartisan group of senators have introduced something called the fast act, which would in a whole variety -- in a variety of ways simplify the ability of students to apply for federal student aid. one of those ways is to simplify the maze of student loans that are able to students today. the sometimes students entdz up- sometimes students end up with more loans than they know they have and then they have trouble paying them back. in recent weeks i've had many conversations with senators. some of them are on the floor today and members of this colloquy who've said -- and suggested to me -- that they'd like to have the perkins loan program extended until we can address it in the higher education reauthorization act. senator ayotte, senator baldwin, senator collins, senator casey, senator johnson, senator portman, senator blumenthal are some of the senators who've
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eloquently made their case on the floor of the senate. they came and argued the merits of the perkins loan program. most of their arguments relied on the use of these loans by students to provide financing up to a student's full cost of attendance to meet a gap in funding that's above their direct federal loan limits for the very neediest students, or they argued it was an important resource for students in urgent circumstances such as when the student's parent loses a job. i listened to these senators. many i've listened to -- i've listened to university presidents and others who have talked with me about it. as a result, today i come here with what i believe is a fair compromise, cosponsored by the senators that i mentioned, to address the specific issues raised. we propose a two-year extension of the perkins loan program while we work on a long-term solution for simplifying the student aid program. this extension will give us time to move forward on the higher
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education act reauthorization next year and come to a consensus on how to simplify the federal student aid program that's become so complicated that many students don't even apply for the loans and many of those who do don't realize the opportunities they have to pay the loans back according to very generous terms. that being said, i think it's important for me to say that i'm still, frankly, skeptical of the merits of this duplicative loan program which only serves 5% of all student loan borrowers and amounts to a little over .5% of all the outstanding student loans we have in the country today. the program provides an average loan of about $2,000 and illustrates the complicated mess our student loan system is in today. my colleagues and cosponsors and i worked on this compromise to extend the perkins loan program for two years for all eligible
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undergraduates and one year for current graduate students who have already received the perkins loan for the graduate degree they're pursuing. here's what this institute does. it extends the perkins loan program until september 30, 2017, for all eligible undergraduates. it provides one year of additional perkins loans to graduate students who have already received a perkins loan. under the grad-plus direct loan program, graduate students have the ability to borrow up to the cost of attendance annually and have no aggregate or lifetime loan limits. in other words, you can get as much money under the regular direct loan system as you can under the perkins loan. the bill requires that the institutions award the maximum annual limit of subsidized direct loans prior to awarding a perkins loan for undergraduate -- for current undergraduate perkins loan borrowers. it requires that institutions award the maximum annual limit
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of both subsidized and unsubdiesed direct loans prior to awarding a perkins loan for new undergraduate perkins loan borrowers. it requires the institution to disclose the perkins loan borrowers the following: that the program is ending. next, that with taking this loan they'll not be eligible for certain repayment and forgiveness benefits available to borrowers utilizing the direct loan program. for an undergraduate, your interest rate is lower in the direct loan program, and you have a more generous way to repay your loan than under the perkins loan. we want the perkins loan borrowers to know that. we want them to know they may consolidate their perkins loan into a federal direct loan to receive the benefits of the direct loan program. that is the lower rate and the more generous repayment terms. we want them to know that federal direct loans and perkins loans have different interest
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rates. we want them to know that if they're receiving a perkins loan as an undergraduate today and they've received one in the past that their institution is already awarded all subsidized federal direct loans for which they may be eligible for that year. in other words, the perkins loan may be their third loan. many students borrow more than they should and then have trouble paying it back. and we want them to know if they're receiving a perkins loan for the first time, their institution has already been awarded all subsidized and unsubsidized federal direct loans for which they were eligible that year. mr. president, if this sounds complicated, it is. and it is the reason why the millions of students across our country who take advantage of generous federal grants and loans, more than $35 billion in grants that you don't have to pay back every year, a total
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outstanding debt of student loans of $1.2 trillion, more than $100 billion new loans every year, it's such a maze and so complicated that many students don't understand how much they're borrowing. so that was my purpose in objecting to an automatic extension of the perkins loan without thinking about it in terms of how we simplify to make it easier for students to understand the tangled maze of federal student aid assistance. i want to thank my colleagues who are here today for being so eloquent and so aggressive in pointing out the benefits of the perkins loan program and for coming up with the suggestions that we find a fair compromise so that over the next two years the perkins loan program will continue. but that during that time both our education committee and the full senate and the house will have a chance to review and make
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simpler the federal system that grants -- of grants and loans for students who attend our 6,000 colleges and universities in the country. so, mr. president, at this point i would recognize senator ayotte of new hampshire who is one of the first to come to the floor and very persuasively argue about the importance of some continuation of the perkins loan program. ms. ayotte: mr. president? mr. president, i want to thank the senator from tennessee because this is a very important loan program, the perkins loan, to people in new hampshire and to 5,000 students in new hampshire who are current recipients. while i know i see my colleagues who are here on the floor who have fought so hard for this -- senators baldwin and casey and
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senator portman -- that we would have preferred 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 two years, and i would like to thank him for that in not letting this expire. and thank my colleagues who are here 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 these students. and i've heard from them and the colleges and universities and financial aid administrators in new hampshire who have urged that it's very important,
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especially before we end the year, with the perkins loan program expired that we pass this extension. and certainly i look forward to continuing to work to make sure that our student loan programs, all of them are easier for people to use, that they are simpler and that we make sure that 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, what their economic background, to reach their full potential in this country, because that is the essence of the american dream. again, this is very important to my home state. this is also important to 500,000 students across the country with this program. so it hits a lot of students. in my home state of new
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hampshire, we unfortunately have the distinction of having a very high, the highest average student loan debt in the country. so, every bit helps. students -- and these 5,000 students in new hampshire, i want them to know this program will continue. and i want to make sure that the people of new hampshire understand that i'm going to continue to fight for access for all of our students in new hampshire and those that want to have better educational opportunities to better their lives and to reach their full potential. i thank the senator from tennessee and certainly i thank the other senators who are here on the floor on a bipartisan basis who fought so hard for the perkins loan extension. mr. alexander: mr. president, i thank the senator from new hampshire. she's been a passionate advocate for perkins loans recipients for the people of new hampshire and across this country and played a major role for the two-year
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compromise that permits us to continue the program while we look to the future. senator baldwin of wisconsin was one of the first on the floor to point out the importance of passing the house bill and dealing with this issue. she's a member of the senate's education committee, what we call the health, education, labor and pensions committee. both she and her colleague from wisconsin, senator johnson, have vigorously advocated for extension of the perkins loan program. and i want to thank senator baldwin for her hard work and look forward to working with her not just on passing this bill, but working in the committee to come to a proper resolution on student aid. ms. baldwin: i want to thank the chairman for this colloquy and the moment that we have now arrived at. and i rise to speak about the
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perkins loan program, a vital investment in students that has been successful in helping americans access affordable higher education and pursue their dreams. due to senate inaction, the perkins loan program lapsed at the end of september. i have twice come to the floor to urge my colleagues to take action and extend this critical student loan program which has helped literally millions of america's low-income students for over more than half a century. i am proud to have earned the support of a strong bipartisan majority here in the senate to continue this investment. and since the program's expiration, a growing chorus of
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advocates, students in colleges and universities have joined our bipartisan coalition in calling on the senate to act. as has been well documented, my friend, chairman alexander, and i have had our differences on this issue, and he has objected, as he just shared, to my previous efforts to revive the perkins loan program due to his concerns with the program that he wanted to address as a part of the of the discussion about reauthorizing the higher education act. a discussion, by the way, that i very much look forward to. but debt ceiling piet his prior objections, i have certainly remained firm in the belief that we must act now to help students, even as we look toward that future conversation, on higher education starting at the
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education committee and then proceeding through the congress. so, i continue to work with my republican colleagues and democratic colleagues, especially those republican colleagues who had concerns with the program, in order to find an interim path forward. and i am so pleased that we are here today with a bipartisan compromise that provides a two-year extension of the perkins loan program. the compromise before us today is not perfect, and this is not the legislation that i would have written on my own. however, today we have found a bipartisan solution that breaks the gridlock and will review -- revive the perkins loan program providing critical support to students across america who were left in the lurch when the program expired this fall. this extension provides current
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and new undergraduate borrowers with access to perkins loans through september 30 of the year 2017, allowing them to complete both the 2016-2017 and 2017-2018 academic years with the support of this important program. in addition, it provides current graduate students with perkins loan an additional year of eligibility, through september 30, 2016, allowing them to complete the 2016 and 2017 academic year with the support of perkins. like the one-year extension measure which the house adopted by voice vote earlier this fall, this two-year extension is fully paid for. i'd like to thank chairman alexander for working with me and ranking member murray to
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address his concerns and to reach this compromise which we expect the senate to pass in short order. and i'd also like to thank my strong allies in this fight: senator murray, senator casey, senator portman, senator ayotte, senator collins, and many other supporters of the perkins loan program right here in the senate. i'd also like to thank our partners on the house education and workforce committee: chairman klein and ranking member scott, who supported extending the perkins program. and i'm hopeful that they will push this legislation across the finish line before congress leaves for the year. since 1958, the federal perkins loan program has been successfully helping americans access affordable higher education with low-interest loans for students who cannot
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borrow or afford for expensive private student loans. in wisconsin, the program provides more than 20,000 low-income students with more than $41 million in aid. students like andrew, a current student at the university of wisconsin's stevens point campus. without the support of his perkins loan, andrew said he would not have had the means to attend college with the little to no income at his disposal. today not only is andrew making the dean's list every semester, but he also has his sights set on attending law school at the university of wisconsin. andrew said -- quote -- "without the assistance i get from the perkins loan, i would be forced to take out other high-interest loans, or delay my graduation,
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or drop out, which is the last thing i would want to do." end quote. i am pleased we have reached an agreement to extend this program for two years to help students just like andrew and i look forward to working with my colleagues on the help committee to ensure that campus-based programs like perkins are a part of the future of federal support for higher education. again, i thank the chairman for this colloquy and his hard work on reaching this resolution for the moment and look forward to the larger debate in the education committee when we reconvene next year. mr. alexander: mr. president, i thank the senator from wisconsin. this is the second time in two weeks that she's played a role in an important bipartisan decision here on the floor of the senate regarding education. she made a major contribution to our elementary and secondary
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education act. and by her willingness to work in a bipartisan way with other senators whom she mentioned, we've been able to get a bipartisan result here. hopefully it will be passed by the end of the year and then we'll work together in the committee to find the right solution. no member came more quickly to me to talk about the perkins loan program than did the senator from ohio, rob portman, who has an eye for the budget with his broad experience as director of the budget and with a large number of colleges and universities in ohio. he's a cosponsor of the legislation, he helped to write the compromise and he's hear t to -- he's here to discuss it today. mr. port manned port manned: i e senator from tennessee. these individuals not going to be left in the lurch. there are kids in the state of ohio who are expecting to get their perkins loans this january as they go into the next semester and certainly thousands of young people who are hoping
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in the fall that they're going to be able to take advantage of it and they were very uncertain. it is a big program in ohio. we actually have over 25,000 ohio students who've received financial aid through perkins. one school alone, kent state, 3,000 students. and by the way, i got lobbied on this very directly, a young woman named kerry richmond, interned in his office last summer, she's an classic excellent for someone who needs perkins because it fills in the gaps for her. in her case, she has a expel yeg woman who has gone in and out of foster homes her entire the life, and by the way, is a wonderful advocate and spokesperson for that young program and helping young foster kids to get on their feet, she does not have the help at home that many kids do. so she needs that perkins loafnlt she is very grateful -- perkins loan. she is very grateful today we're extending that loan, of course, and she's very happy for kent state and students around ohio.
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i was with some ohio state students a couple weeks ago for a holiday party and with the president of ohio state who's pleased this is finally handled. because he's trying plan. the schools play a big role. they're able to come up with new loans for next year. they're very involved. we've got 1,700 students at ohio state. overall, we have 60 soolz scoolz i0 schools inthe buckeye state e advantage of this. and i'm very pleased that you, mr. chairman, have sit down with us and give these young people the certainty they need. at a time where it is more and more expensive to go to college. where this is a barrier for young people to get the degree, to get the experience, to get the ability to be able to go out in this tough job market and be able to find work and find their place in -- in -- in the work force.
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so i'm happy we've come to this point. i will say that i'm very eager to work with the chairman, ranking member murray and others over the next period of time here while we have extended this program to come up with a better way to deal with our student loan program generally. i think the chairman makes a good point about the complexity. i think he's probably right that it's so complex that some parents and students are almost turned off by it. and we can simplify it. certainly we k. but i also want to be clear we're providing maximum flexibility for these students who otherwise might get left behind and wouldn't be able to take advantage of the opportunity to go to college and to get that degree. we should be doing everything in our power to provide more students in my home state of ohio around and this country the chance to get the tools they need to be successful. i want to thank senator ayotte, i want to thank senator casey and i want to thank senator baldwin because we've been at this awhile and we've been out here on the floor a few times talking about this. and i think this is a result
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lets us be able to say to the people we represent back home, we are going to be able to give you that certainty, that confidence to know that this is not going to be pulled away. on the other hand, that gearing to work hard over the next couple of years to ensure that this program is viable for the longer term along with other programs and simplify these programs so that they do work better for all of the parents and all the students who we represent. so, mr. chairman, thank you. this is one of the good results at the end of the year here. in a way going into the christmas season, it's appropriate that, you know, we have this -- this little package that's now wrapped up and has a ribbon on t. but it does expire so -- ribbon on it. but it does expire so our work is not redone and we will only redouble our efforts to make sure we can come up with a program that does provide the flexibility and the important safety net that perk disins. -- that perkins does. mr. alexander: mr. president, i want to thank the senator from ohio. he's exactly, exactly right. i know the ohio colleges and universities and no state has more small colleges of the kind that would take advantage of
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perkins loan probably than the state of -- the state of ohio. and it's important to say that, as with senator baldwin and senator casey and senator ayotte, that they've been -- they've been urgently making their case on the floor over the last several weeks and have done so in such an effect active way that we've -- effective way that we've been able to come up with a bipartisan compromise which ie able to do that here the more confidence the american people have in their united states senators. so i'm -- i appreciate his leadership in making this possible. now, another senator who's a member of the senate's committee that oversees education is the senator from pennsylvania, senator casey. he, too, has just completed work on the elementary and secondary education act, which many people thought when he no chance of passing this year and which we passed by a very large margin. and i want to thank him, as i did senator baldwin, for --
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for -- for working in such a constructive way. some people look at the senate and say we all are always arguing. of course we r. i mean, that's what we do. that's look like at the grand ole opry and say you-all are always singing. i mean, we have different points of view and we do on the perkins loan. but once we make our points of view known, we then do our jobs and way satisfy okay, now we need to get a -- and we say, okay, now we need to get a result. if all we wanted to do was make a speech or make a point, we could stay home or get our own radio show. but we're united states senators and our job, having had our say, is to get a result. so i thank senator casey, the senator from pe pennsylvania, nt only for his work on this embryo my on, perkins -- on this compromise, on perkins loan, but on this, the and the effort to fix no child left behind. and i look forward to his comments. mr. casey: mr. president, i want to thank the chairman for his work in helping us to get to this point today. it's a -- it's an important
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moment at the end of an important year and we're grateful for his leadership. and even when we've had a basic disagreement to get this compromise worked out. could not happen -- could not have happened without his leadership and working with democrats on -- on our side of the aisle. senator murray, as the ranking member of the health, education, labor and pensions committee, working with chairman alexander. i want to thank senator baldwin for her work in leading to effort -- in letter this effortt on our side and leading our team. this is a compromise which, as senator alexander noted, we -- some people think we don't do enough of. and i think it's a -- it's an important example of why we must work together. when you consider the compromise itself that i worked on and the other senators who are here and others who are not here, along with our staffs -- i should
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mention jared and lauren on my staff did a lot of work on this and we're grateful tor for that- but we can report today some good news for more than 150,000 current freshman perkins loan recipients whose eligible was caught off when the program expired on the 30th of september of this year. this bipartisan agreement provides for a two-year extension of the perkins loan program and provides some certainty -- certainty -- for students and their families as we debate a longer-term solution. we have more to do. simply put, what students tell us they need is that basic certainty. and one of the reasons we're -- we're happy that we've reached a compromise at this stage is that i think most people believe what i've often said about the context of early education applies to higher education.
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if young people learn more when they're in their college years, they're going to earn more lat later. and one of the ways to learn more when you're at that age is to have the resources and help from a loan program like perki perkins. perkins loans are critically important in a state like pennsylvania. 40,000 students in pennsylvania that receive these loans at more than a hundred schools. these loans loans, as many people know, are fixed rate. they're low intvment and unlike traditional unsubsidize -- they're low interest. and unlike traditional unsubsidized loans, they don't accrue interest when they're in school. they have, as well, significant robust forgiveness students for borrowers who become, for example, high school teachers or first responders or librarians or peace corps volunteers, among so many other professions.
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the loans can be consolidated and to qualify for income-based repayment and other loan forgiveness options. the agreement ensures that those with the least financial resources will be able to receive an important source of financial aid. because of this compromise, freshmen and students across the commonwealth of pennsylvania will not have to choose between taking out unaffordable high-interest private loans in order to secure their degree. just give you two examples. before i conclude. abigail anderson, a freshman at omacula university, currently receives a perkins loan of $2,000. she said she had it all figured out. but with this program expiring on september 30th, she said -- quote -- "it changes everything." she said she didn't know how she was going to pay for it and school next year because her
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parents couldn't afford to pay anymore. and the abigail anderson said -- and i quote -- "every little amount counts. it makes a difference." another example, a freshman at temple, she's from hazelton, pennsylvania, near my hometown of scranton. she didn't have enough money, amber didn't have enough money to pay her tuition bill even for this year. her mother wasn't able to co-sign her loans and she was -- i should say she was able to get a perkens loan in the amount of $-- perkins loan in the a. $35,00amountof $5,000 with the f temple. she said -- and i quote -- "without the perkens loan perkin program, i would not have been able to h to enroll in school. i'm not sure what i'll do next year. i'm in kind of a predicament."
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for some, that might be an understatement. so with now this bipartisan agreement, neither abigail or amber will have to worry. they can focus their attention on the end of the semester, their exams and whatever else here able to focus instead of whether they'll be able to afford to return to campus for their sophomore years. so we have, even with this compromise, lots of work to do, more work to do to come together on the reauthorization of the higher education act. but this is a good moment for the senate and it's especially a good moment for students and families across the country and, in my indicate, for some 40,000 in the state of pen -- in my state, for some 40,000 in the state of pennsylvania. and i want to thank, once again, the chairman and senator baldwin. mr. alexander: mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee. mr. alexander: mr. president,
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once again i want to thank the senator from pennsylvania for being both a passionate advocate and skilled legislator in the coming to a result here that meets most of the goals of the senators who have spoken about this. at least for the next two years. and gives us a chance t to continue to work on this. mr. president, i now ask unanimous consent that the senate now proceed to the consideration of h.r. 3594, which was received from the house. the presiding officer: the clerk will report. the clerk: h.r. 3594, an act to extend temporarily the federal perkins loan program and for other purposes. mr. alexander: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the alexander substitute amendment which is at the desk be agreed to, the bill be amended and be read a third time. the presiding officer: without objection, the senate will proceed to the measure. and without objection, the clerk will read the title of the bill for the third time. the clerk: h.r. 3594, an act
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to extend temporarily the federal perkins loan program and for other purposes. mr. alexander: mr. president, i know of no further debate on this measure. the presiding officer: hearing no further debate, all those in favor say aye. all those opposed say no. the ayes appear to have it. the ayes do have it. the bill as amended is passed. mr. alexander: mr. president, i ask unanimous consent that the motions to reconsider be considered made and laid upon the table. the presiding officer: without objection. mr. alexander: mr. president, i want to once again thank senator baldwin, senator casey and the other senators who participated in our colloquy. senator ayotte and senator portman. they've all pushed hard to see that we get a result on the perkins loan extension. they have been eeffective advocates and skilled legislators and i'm grateful for their hard work. there have been other senators
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who have spoken on the floor and been very passionate advocates. i don't think i have a list of all of them, but i know, for example, senator collins was here more than once making her case for the students of maine. i know that senator blumenthal was here on a day when i was here making his case for students in connecticut. i know that the junior senator -- the other senator from wisconsin, senator johnson, was here making a vigorous case for the students from wisconsin, as did senator baldwin. also senator boozman of arkansas and senator cochran of mississippi as well as those who participate in the colloquy. so we've had a broad group of senators involved both on the floor and in negotiations. we now have passed a bill in the senate. we go to the house, hopefully where it will be considered and become law by the end of the year. i look forward to working with
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my two colleagues on the education committee to reauthorize the higher education act and with the goal of simplifying and making more effective the federal student aid program so american students can afford and can attend a college or a university. mr. president, i thank the president. and if there are no further comments, i notice the absence of a quorum. the presiding officer: the clerk will call the roll. quorum call:
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quorum call:
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