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Portman calls for Perkins loan renewal

U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, is among a bipartisan group of four senators who have sent a letter to the leadership of both parties in the chamber calling for Congress to reauthorize funding for the Perkins Loan Program.

The federal student loan, which covers tuition costs for low-income students, expired on Sept. 28.

Portman was joined by U.S. Sens. Susan Collins, R-Maine, Robert Casey, D-Pennsylvania and Tammy Baldwin, D-Wisconsin in crafting the message.

“We should be making it easier for low-income students in Ohio to graduate from college and go on to succeed,” Portman stated. “Reauthorizing the Perkins loan program for another year is a way we can lift more of these students up at no cost to taxpayers. This is an issue I hear about back home and I agree with my constituents that it’s time for the Senate to act.”

The letter was co-signed by a majority of the Senate and sent to U.S. Sens. Mitch McConnell and Harry Reid, the Republican and Democratic leaders in the chamber.

More than 1,700 colleges and universities take part in the Perkins Loan. The institutions could face having to return billions if Congress fails to revive the program.

The House has already approved an extension, but the Senate vote to renew the loan, was blocked by Sen. Lamar Alexander, R.-Tennessee.