Coalition of Higher Education Assistance Organizations
1101 Vermont Avenue N.W., Suite 400
Washington, D.C. 20005-3586
(202) 289-3910 Fax (202) 371-0197
Congress Will Reject Call for Elimination of Perkins Loans
The 110th Congress is taking office today. One of its first decisions will be how to finish vital business
left over from the previous Congress – including funding of education programs.
In early December, incoming Appropriations Chairs — Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV) and Representative
David Obey (D-WI) announced their intention to extend the Continuing Resolution, now set to expire on
February 15, 2007, through the entire Fiscal Year. The continuing resolution was passed to keep funding
going to those government departments, including Education, for which Congress has not passed annual
appropriations bills for fiscal year 2007, which began October 1, 2006. For the Department of Education
that is a decision to eliminate all earmarked funding, eliminate all increases for specific programs, and
eliminate funding for new initiatives that were presented by the Administration and had been agreed upon
by the Labor, Health and Human Services and Education Appropriations Subcommittee.
For Perkins Loans this means that the year-long modified continuing resolution will keep the program
funded at its FY 2006 level. FY06 funding levels include funding Perkins loan cancellations at $66.1
million but do not include funding the Federal Capital Contribution. The bright side of this decision is the
fact that all programs proposed for elimination or cuts by the Administration, including the Perkins Loan
Program, will continue for another year.
The new Congress will soon be starting work on funding bills for fiscal year 2008, which begins October
1, 2007. COHEAO is again seeking funding for both a capital contribution to Perkins Loan funds as well
as an increase in the funding for cancellation reimbursements to make Perkins funds whole. A report on
the opening of Congress will be included I this week’s Torch.