Friday, September 7, 2007

Boehner: Higher Education Bill Saddles Taxpayers with New, Misdirected Entitlement Spending

So-Called “Student Aid” Bill Subsidizes Institutions and Graduates, Shortchanges Students

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman John Boehner (R-West Chester) issued the following statement today opposing the higher education bill (H.R. 2669) because it creates five costly new entitlement programs; provides billions in benefits for those who already graduated from college; and misdirects new, mandatory federal spending toward institutions, rather than students:

“Last year, Republicans expanded student benefits and saved taxpayers billions by fundamentally reforming our student loan programs. This higher education bill guts those reforms by shortchanging students and mortgaging their future to pay for a tidal wave of government spending.

“As our nation grapples with runaway entitlement spending, some in Congress continue to make matters worse by leaving taxpayers on the hook for an explosion of costly new programs. Their higher education bill asks taxpayers to subsidize college graduates and institutions with billions in new spending that will be placed on auto-pilot instead of being subjected to an annual congressional review.

“While some lawmakers insist on burdening taxpayers with new spending and higher taxes, House Republicans have presented plans to balance the budget without raising taxes, keep federal spending in check, and let middle-class families keep more of their own money. It’s often said that once Washington creates a new program, it never goes away. Congress should think twice before forcing taxpayers to pick up the tab for new entitlement programs.”

NOTE: Today’s entitlement bill is only the latest example of new federal spending in the 110th Congress. Since the beginning of the year:

  • $6 billion in new spending was tacked onto January’s omnibus spending bill to finish the 2007 appropriations process;

  • A budget with $20 billion spending more than the President’s budget request was passed;

  • About $17 billion in additional spending was added to the troop funding bill; and

  • More than half of the annual appropriations measures were passed despite the threat of a Presidential veto because of excessive spending.
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