WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Yesterday, the U.S. Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Labor, Health and Human Services (LHHS) reached bi-partisan agreement on Fiscal Year 2018 (FY18) funding for programs within the U.S. Department of Education. IHEP Vice President of Policy Research Mamie Voight released the following statement:
"The FY18 spending plan approved by the Senate Labor, Health and Human Services (LHHS) Appropriations Subcommittee yesterday includes laudable increases to the cornerstone of our federal student aid system—the Pell Grant. The spending plan raises the maximum Pell Grant to $6,020, a $100 increase that is especially necessary because the program’s annual inflation indexation is set to expire at the end of this year. This increase is an essential—yet modest—step forward in helping our neediest students cover ever-increasing college costs, and we applaud this bipartisan support for the program.
"But the plan also includes a $2.6 billion rescission to existing Pell Grant funds and follows a $1.3 billion cut in the Fiscal Year 2017 spending plan. As we have said before, cuts to the Pell Grant program chip away at the foundation of our federal student aid system and ultimately destabilize the program. As the final spending plan is reviewed before the full Senate Appropriations Committee and alongside the proposed House spending plan, we urge lawmakers to preserve Pell Grant funds and work to fortify this building block of our federal financial aid system for years to come."