House Committee on Education and Labor
U.S. House of Representatives

Rep. Howard P. “Buck” McKeon
Ranking Member

Fiscally responsible reforms for students, workers and retirees.


Left Turns

March 18, 2010

CONTACT: Alexa Marrero
(202) 225-4527

Democrats Siphon Billions in College Aid to Pay for Government Takeover of Health Care

The Congressional Budget Office confirms today that congressional Democrats plan to divert $9 billion in college financial aid funding to help pay for a massively unpopular government takeover of health care. 

This revelation is the latest in an unfolding story about the Democrats’ unrelenting push to expand the size and scope of government – taking control of how Americans get medical care and now how they pay for college. To help finance their health care ploy, Democrats are eliminating the long-standing public-private partnership known as the Federal Family Education Loan program and replacing it with a system of government-run Direct Lending. 

The plot to eliminate choice and competition in student lending is not new, but the decision to divert resources to absorb a small portion of the nearly trillion dollar health care plan is – and it’s likely to come as a shock to the millions of college students who have been promised Pell grant funding increases and other financial aid spending that will now never materialize. 

Earlier this week, key Republicans in the House and Senate held a press conference detailing the job-killing, choice-eliminating plan to drive the private sector out of student lending. 

Republicans have long drawn parallels between the plans for a government takeover of health care and a government takeover of student lending. Both would result in more government control and fewer choices for consumers. 

Moving to 100 percent direct lending will add more than $100 billion to the national debt each year as the Treasury is forced to borrow from China and other foreign creditors to permanently finance millions of students’ college loans. 

Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA), a member of the Education and Labor Committee and Vice Chair of the House Republican Conference, explained the Democrats’ dual government-takeover ploy at earlier this week: 

“The stakes of the health care debate are clear. On the table is a bill that would put the federal government in charge of one-sixth of the American economy and, perhaps even more stunningly, the way Americans get medical care. Yet far too few Americans realize there is another government takeover in the offing – this one in how Americans pay for college.” 

For more information on the government takeover of the student loan program check out Ten Things Every American Should Know About the Government Takeover of Student Loans.