Peters, Davis Take Bipartisan Action to Address Rising Student Loan Debt Among America’s Workers
This week, Congressmen Scott Peters (D-CA) and Rodney Davis (R-IL) led a bipartisan group of 99 Members of Congress to reintroduce H.R. 1043, the Employer Participation in Repayment Act, which would incentivize employers to offer student loan assistance to help their employees pay off student loan debt. The bill would provide financial assistance to Americans struggling to pay off college debt by making employer-provided student loan payments tax exempt up to $5,250 a year—similar to tax exemptions for tuition assistance programs.
“I relied on student loans to get through college, when the cost of higher education was much lower than it is today. Now, the collective debt among people in the U.S. is more than $1.5 trillion dollars, which hurts economic growth,” said Rep. Peters. “Many employers have successfully helped their employees pay down their debt, and encouraging similar programs across the country can move us closer to solving the student debt crisis. Our economy benefits, too, when young Americans begin making investments like buying a home, starting a family, or saving for retirement. I appreciate Rep. Davis’s commitment to tackling this important issue.”
“Student loan debt is now the second highest form of consumer debt and prevents many in the workforce from fully contributing to our economy,” said Rep. Davis.“Student loan debt is such a major issue that some private companies have found that offering a benefit to help employees pay down their student loans has allowed them to recruit and retain young talent. Our bill simply builds on this private-sector approach to addressing the student loan debt crisis in this country by allowing this benefit to be tax-free to both the employee and the employer. This innovative approach to student loan debt that has the potential to be the 401(k) of student loans and help millions of graduates who are struggling with student debt.”
Rep. Peters first introduced this bill with Rep. Davis in 2017, and this year, Reps. Earl Blumenauer (OR-03), Elise Stefanik (NY-21), Stephanie Murphy (FL-07), Tom Cole (OK-04), Gwen S. Moore (WI-04), and Jason Smith (MO-08) join as co-leads of the bill. Senators Mark Warner (D-VA) and John Thune (R-SD) will introduce an identical bill in the Senate.
Full text of the legislation can be found here.
In The News
If the United States wants to remain competitive in the global marketplace for the rest of this century and beyond, it needs to foster education in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math, said a group of experts on Thursday. A robust “STEM workforce is... Read More
WASHINGTON - A new report from Third Way, released this week, calls on lawmakers and researchers to prioritize and protect college students’ return-on-investment as the higher education sector continues to feel the impact of COVID.. In “Paying More for Less? A New Classification System to Prioritize... Read More
WASHINGTON — COVID has taken a toll on student learning and wellbeing, but a coalition of community schools advocates believes they have the answer to correcting academic learning loss and supporting the holistic development of young people. They say their next-generation community schooling lays the foundation... Read More
ATLANTA (AP) — With her children struggling in many classes last spring, Kelli Rivera became so frustrated with how her suburban Atlanta district was handling the coronavirus pandemic that she withdrew them to home-school them. They're back in public school and mostly attending class in person.... Read More
NEW YORK - The Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America kicked off veteran education week this morning, continuing a six-week campaign to highlight the priority issues of its members. Over the course of this week, IAVA is highlighting its advocacy efforts to expand and protect veteran... Read More
WASHINGTON — Attitudes toward American colleges and universities may have started evolving before the pandemic set in, but COVID-19 truly upended the higher ed system in ways that are sure to have an impact for years to come. Through a series of mid-pandemic public opinion research... Read More