Sep 16, 2009

USSA Joins Speaker Pelosi, Ed Secretary Duncan, Chair Miller, and others to Advocate for Student Aid Reform

On Tuesday, September 15, U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan, Speaker Nancy Pelosi, U.S. Rep. George Miller (D-CA), chair of the House Education and Labor Committee, other lawmakers and USSA students held two press events to urge the House to pass the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (SAFRA), H.R. 3221, a bill which makes the largest investment in higher education in American history. The USSA membership voted overwhelmingly to support this historic legislation at the 2009 National Student Congress.

During the first press conference, surrounded by congressional leadership and the top higher education officials, USSA student Jelisa Difo, a Senior at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, spoke about the necessity of student aid reform. “By investing in federal aid programs, SAFRA will ensure that millions of students like me have access to a quality and affordable higher education,” said Difo.

Immediately following the press conference, USSA President Gregory Cendana joined Secretary Duncan, Chair Miller, Rep. Tim Bishop (D-NY), and USSA student Michael Kebede from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, to speak with student journalists and major media outlets about SAFRA.

“We are excited this monumental piece of legislation is moving in the House this week and are thankful we have education champions like Secretary Duncan, Chair Miller and Rep. Bishop fighting for students,” said Cendana. “USSA, along with students and families across the country, are thrilled about the investment SAFRA will put into higher education and the positive impact it will have on the economy.”

The House is expected to vote on SAFRA later this week. USSA students nationwide will continue to organize around supporting the legislation when it is taken up by the Senate.

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