Written by Ripon Advance News Service on June 25, 2020

U.S. Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) introduced a bipartisan bill to provide temporary relief during the pandemic for the nearly two million college students who borrowed from the Federal Perkins Loan Program.

“This bipartisan legislation closes a gap in the CARES Act and allows those with Perkins Loans to defer payments until October as we recover from the COVID-19 crisis,” said Rep. Stefanik, an original cosponsor of the COVID-19 Perkins Loan Relief Act, H.R. 7294, with bill sponsor U.S. Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA).

H.R. 7294, which is endorsed by the National Consumer Law Center, the American Federation of Teachers, and the Institute for College Access and Success, has been referred for consideration to three committees in the U.S. House of Representatives, according to the congressional record.

“This pandemic has only exacerbated our existing student debt crisis,” said Rep. Porter. “I’m glad to see support on both sides of the aisle for closing this loophole and doing right by Americans who invested in their education.”

In April, Rep. Stefanik also introduced the bipartisan Equity in Student Loan Relief Act, H.R. 6597, with cosponsor U.S. Rep. Lori Trahan (D-MA), a similar bill that would extend the temporary relief from student loan payments for Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) borrowers who were omitted from the funding relief provided in the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Both bills, Rep. Stefanik said, “will reduce significant financial stress for the borrowers who have been left behind, and I’m proud to be an advocate for all of our hardworking North Country students and their families.”

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