Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., And Progressive Congress Chairman Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., Propose free tuition fees for families earning up to $ 125,000 per year. Drew Angerer / Getty Images hide subtitles
Drew Angerer / Getty Images
Drew Angerer / Getty Images
Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., And Chairman of Progressive Congress Rep. Pramila Jayapal, D-Wash., Are enacting laws Wednesday that would make higher education free for most Americans by putting new taxes on many Wall Street impose transactions.
The legislation would eliminate tuition and fees at public, four-year facilities for families from families earning up to $ 125,000 a year, and make community college free for all. The pressure comes under increasing pressure from progressives on President Biden to cancel some existing student loan debt and make higher education more accessible.
“While President Biden can and should immediately cancel student debts for millions of borrowers, Congress must ensure that working families never have to take out those stifling loans to get a higher education,” Jayapal said in a statement.
There is widespread interest among Democrats in making college more affordable, but so far there has been little consensus on how best to achieve this goal. Progressives like Jayapal and Sanders have pushed for free college for most students, but many other Democrats say the idea is either too expensive or not viable.
Sanders and Jayapal propose new fees for joint activities on Wall Street, which they say would raise $ 2.4 trillion over 10 years. The bill includes a 0.5% tax on stock trades, which is 50 cents per share valued at $ 100, a 0.1% fee on bonds, and a 0.005% fee on derivatives.
The legislation also includes a substantial expansion of the federal Pell grant. Sanders and Jayapal suggest doubling the existing scholarship to a maximum of $ 13,000 per academic year and allowing students to use those funds to cover living expenses and other non-tuition-related expenses. Other changes include more funding for underfunded institutions and more support for low-income and disabled students.
“If we want to have the standard of living the American people deserve, we need the best educated workforce in the world,” Sanders said in a statement. “It is absolutely unacceptable that hundreds of thousands of bright young Americans do not get an advanced education every year, not because they are unskilled but because their families do not have enough money.”
The bill comes from the Democrats’ attempt to establish a legislative path for a wide range of priorities, many of which fall under an increasingly broad framework of infrastructure spending. Biden released the first of two infrastructure plans last month. The first round included Many traditional programs such as road and bridge improvements, as well as spending on other priorities such as combating climate change and expanding broadband internet access.
The White House is expected to release details of a so-called “Human Infrastructure Proposal” in the coming days or weeks. The second package is expected to extensively redefine “infrastructure” to include policies that affect an individual’s ability to participate in the economy, such as access to childcare, education and care for the elderly.
Progressives say that access to higher education must be part of this plan.
“In the 21st century, a free public education system from kindergarten to high school is no longer good enough,” Sanders said in the statement. “The time is long overdue to make public colleges and universities tuition-free and debt-free for working families.”