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SOUTH KINGSTOWNâ€”Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse visited the University of Rhode Island on Friday to listen to studentsâ€™ concerns about further cuts to Pell Grant funding for the next school year.
Whitehouse recently introduced a resolution in the Senate defending the Pell Grant and discouraging any cuts to the program. The bill is co-sponsored by Senators Jack Reed (D-RI), Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), Al Franken (D-MN), Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT).
â€śWe need to make it clear that we are going to stand up for our kids,â€ť said Whitehouse. â€śIâ€™ve met with students across Rhode Island who rely on Pell Grants to help them achieve the dream of a college education. This resolution sends a message that we will fight for those students and protect this vital program from irresponsible cuts.â€ť
â€śWe have a very significant budget problem, and there will have to be substantial cuts in various areas,â€ť he added. â€śThe desire to cut [Pell Grants] is very real, and I am trying to discourage Pell Grants being a part of that cut as much as I can.â€ť
In the past year, House Republicans have introduced legislation which would cut Pell Grant funding by an average of $1,775 per student. The Hill, a congressional newspaper which publishes daily when Congress is in session, reported discontent among House conservatives when Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) introduced a debt bill in July which included $17 billion in supplemental spending for Pell Grants.
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