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  • Washington Highlights

    House Postpones Vote on Bipartisan Workforce Pell Act

    Devan O'Toole, Legislative Analyst
    For Media Inquiries

    House leaders postponed a vote on the Bipartisan Workforce Pell Act (BWPA, H.R. 6585), originally expected to be considered by the House under suspension of the rules on Feb. 28, after higher education organizations, including the AAMC, expressed ongoing concern over the bill’s offset. The bill’s sponsors recently revised the offset to the bill, which would extend short-term Pell eligibility [refer to Washington Highlights, Dec. 15, 2023]. The new offset, detailed in Section 6 of the bill, would require institutions of higher education subject to the endowment tax to pay all unpaid federal student loans back to the Secretary of Education.  

    On Feb. 27, the AAMC signed a joint letter with the American Council on Education (ACE) and 14 other groups, expressing concern over the proposal and urging the House to postpone any votes for this bill under suspension until they decide on a new offset. “The approach taken in the offset would establish a harmful precedent of targeting certain institutions and subjecting them to unequal status in federal programs,” the letter stated. “Most importantly, this provision is likely to harm the very population of students this bill seeks to address, undercutting the effectiveness of the legislation.” 

    House leaders have not yet announced a new date for the House vote.