Friday, September 18, 2009

Controlling the Money ~ HR 3221

Thursday the House of Representatives passed HR 3221, Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act. At the same time, the Defund Acorn Act was adopted. The Acorn “defunding” was the big story, but why? This story has been out for a week now and all the sudden a little piece of legislation has made it way on to the news, but importing underage girls for a brothel is not news worthy?? Am I the only one asking why this is so absurd, I don’t think so.

Here’s the story that is flying under the radar. The Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act(SAFRA), HR 3221 is the “health care bill” for colleges. Let’s look at the common thread. The Health Care Bill is going to reform health insurance and the SAFRA is going to reform student lending. So what does insurance and loans have in common? All together now, money. Yep, both of these bills are about the government controlling the money. Here is a summary of SAFRA from Rep. Miller (CA-7th) website.

• Invests the bill’s savings in making college affordable and helping more Americans graduate
• Provides reliable, affordable, high-quality Federal student loans for all families
• Prepares students and workers for 21st century jobs by providing all Americans with the skills and resources they need to compete
• Promotes early learning standards reform to ensure the next generation of children enter kindergarten with the skills they need to succeed in school
• Meets Pay-As-You-Go fiscally responsible principles and reduces the deficit

The first two bullet point you could take out college and student loans and insert health care and health insurance. This bill mandates, regulates and give federal government control of our preschools, public schools, colleges and universities. It is taking away the competition for the student loans by eliminating the Federal Family Education Loan Program; the federal government will be the originator of all student loans. It will provide billions of funding for renovations to make our schools “greener”. You can read more detail from the National Association of Student Aid and Administrators. [Link]

So what does the mean for the everyday citizen? It means that the Federal Government is going to control our schools. Period. They are making the loans, they will decide who, how and where the money goes. Just like with the national speed limit withheld money from states that did not comply, they can withhold money from the institutions that do not comply. This is pure and simple another spending bill in which the federal government knows better that individual. This is un-American, un-Constitutional and un-acceptable.

The other part of this bill is the Defunding of Acorn. The Republicans were able to get the HR 3571 ~ Defund Acorn Act added as an amendment. Why? I am sure this was nothing but strategy. They knew this bill would pass and they can now be the hero for getting it added to the legislations. WRONG, in my book, this practice must stop. It’s the great distraction. This is why Thursday the big head line was the House voted to defund Acorn. It makes congress look like they are dealing with the “shocking” revelation that Acorn is corrupt, gives the fringe media the news story for the evening and let’s the Republican take credit for getting something accomplished. We must stay vigilant. I will be contacting my Senators to oppose this bill, even though the Acorn defunding is in it. We must demand that these bills are brought to the floor to stand alone. Either you’re for funding for Acorn or you’re against it. Either you’re for government take over of the student loans or you are against it.

UPDATE 9/21/09:

Demos Applauds House Passage of The Student Aid Financial Responsibility Act

Nancy K. Cauthen, Director of the Economic Opportunity Program at Demos, a national research policy center that examines the financial barriers to post secondary success amound community college students, issued the following statement:

This bill represents a major step in the effort to help more Americans enroll in -and complete- the higher education programs that have become essential for getting a decent job and entering the middle class. Too many community college students are sidelines by the financial burden of paying for school while meeting their other financial obligations. This act will allocate significant new resources to community colleges to boost completion rates and improve critical student support services, make Pell Grants available to hundreds of thousand more students; and strengthen the low-cost Perkins Loan program. We urge the Senate to pass the measure and ease the economic burden of earning a degree.

Who is Demos? Why are releasing this statement?

In 1999, Obama went to New York to set up a left-wing think thank called Demos. He served for a time on the Demos board of trustees. Van Jones is still listed as a member of the Demos board. Demos is a partner organization to the Institute for Policy Studies and also works closely with ACORN and Project Vote.

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