Skip to Content

E&W Blog

Foxx Shares a Conservative Vision for Education After High School

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 14, 2022
Education and Labor Committee Republican Leader Virginia Foxx (R-NC) discussed America’s broken student loan system and Republican solutions to reform education after high school, so students, borrowers, and taxpayers are protected. Missed Tuesday’s discussion at the American Enterprise Institute? Below are a few key excerpts from Foxx’s speech.

Democrats’ radical ‘free college’ agenda hurts America
“The President’s agenda of free college isn’t about students or improving our broken higher education system. It’s a trojan horse for handing Washington bureaucrats the control they desire.
“Over the last two years, we have seen an administration completely dismantle the federal student loan program. From unjustified extensions of the nearly three-year pause of student loan payments, to illegal waivers expanding programs intended to be limited safety net programs to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars, to providing blanket cancellation to over 20 million borrowersthe President is spending $1 trillion to deliver free college for a select few.
“It is easy to become immune to the implications of $1 trillion in new spending when Democrats have all but forgotten their responsibility to practice good stewardship of taxpayer dollars. To put things in perspective, the Biden administration has spent three times as much forgiving loans for government bureaucrats and affluent students with expensive graduate degrees as Congress will allocate to assist low and middle-income families through the Pell Grant over the next decade.
“This is not responsible policy, nor does it provide targeted relief for those harmed by the very programs Democrats themselves created.
“This dishonorable debt transfer demonstrates why so many of us believe the federal government should respect its constitutional role and leave education policy to parents and states. The government’s incompetence in creating this mess is a clear example of the harms that come from abandoning federalism.”
Republicans have solutions  
“Our answer begins with the REAL Reforms Act. The legislation protects the interests of students AND taxpayers, one that provides targeted relief for borrowers harmed today, accompanied by lasting reforms to ensure it never happens to the borrowers of tomorrow.
“…Upon enactment of the REAL Reforms Act, borrowers who have paid back more than what they owed will have their remaining balance discharged. Moreover, borrowers who have made payments for the last decade and still are unable to make a dent in their principal will be given a chance to do so by waiving their outstanding interest.
“…In addition to targeted relief, the REAL Reforms Act simplifies student loan repayment, caps graduate lending while ensuring access, and eliminates runaway forgiveness programs costing taxpayers.”
Biden’s student loan debt scheme is illegal
“This shameful, sad, and blatantly political move is politics at its worst. It is unfair to the mother of four struggling to put food on the table who never set foot on a college campus.
“It is unfair to the borrowers who worked their way through college, or those who had the grit to pay off their debts despite the challenges that life threw at them.
“It’s unfair to the students of tomorrow who will be forced to take on more student loan debt to obtain increasingly expensive degrees with diminishing value.
“Simply put, it is a slap in the face to every hardworking taxpayer in this country, including every one of us in this room who is deeply concerned about the direction of postsecondary education and are willing to work across the aisle to fix it.”
College is NOT the only path to success
“For far too long, we as a society have told our children that the path to success runs through a baccalaureate degree and only that. That was a grave mistake, and the predictable result is the drastically diminished return on investment in college for students and families we see today.
“We must change our mentality and recognize there are many paths to the American Dream. The REAL Reforms Act takes the first step towards doing just that. It opens up opportunities to the middle class beyond the traditional college model by expanding the Pell Grant to career-focused credentials offered at a fraction of the cost of that model.”
Colleges must be held accountable
“No longer can colleges receive a free pass when four in 10 of their students never graduate. Nor can they be shielded from the financial costs of providing overpriced degrees in fields they know will leave their students in a worse financial position than when they started.
“…The cost of nonrepayment can no longer fall squarely on taxpayers. Schools must be on the hook for a share of the taxpayers’ losses proportionate to the riskiness of the programs they encourage prospective students to enroll in.”
Fixing exploding college costs
“In any well-functioning market, the price you see reflects the quality of the product being sold. Moreover, it is the actual price you will pay.
“Unsurprisingly, this is not the case in our poorly functioning postsecondary education market. The rise of strategic tuition discounting and “merit aid” has completely distorted the connection between price and quality.
“…The price of a degree should reflect its value. When a degree in general studies or English starts at $75,000, we cannot be surprised that the American public is skeptical about the motives of colleges and universities.”
Watch Foxx’s full speech and Q&A with AEI’s Beth Akers here.

Stay Connected