Thursday, September 17, 2009

House Passes H.R. 3221

Today, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 3221, the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act of 2009, by a 253-171 vote. H.R. 3221 represents the largest single federal investment in community colleges in history, totaling $9.5 billion. The bill authorizes President Barack Obama’s American Graduation Initiative which provides funding for community college academic, developmental and job-training programs and community college modernization and construction. The bill also provides $40 billion to increase the Pell Grant maximum over the next ten years.

During the debate on H.R. 3221, the House defeated two efforts to eliminate funding for community colleges. The House defeated an amendment by Rep. Peter Hoekstra (R-MI), which would have eliminated funds for community college modernization, by a 161-262 vote. The House also defeated an amendment by Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-NC), which would have eliminated the American Graduation Initiative and its funding, by a 126-301 vote. The roll call votes on the bill and the amendments can be found at: ACCT would like to thank all the community college leaders who took the time to write or call their representatives in support of H.R. 3121.

The Senate is expected to introduce and consider its own version of the education budget reconciliation within the next four weeks. The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee will need to report out the legislation by October 15th.

In other news, President Obama is expected to visit Hudson Valley Community College in New York on September 21st.

ACCT’s H.R. 3221 summary of community college related items within the bill can be found at: For more information, contact Jee Hang Lee at or (202) 775-4450.

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