WASHINGTON, DCU.S. Representatives Elise M. Stefanik (NY-21) and Mark Pocan (WI-02) today called for a vote on H.R. 2482, the Perkins Loans Extension Act, after more than half of the members of the U.S. House of Representatives signed on as cosponsors. With the Perkins Loan program scheduled to expire on September 30, 2017, Congress must reauthorize the program, or 500,000 students across the country will not be able to access much-needed financial aid.

“I want to thank my colleagues for lending their voice and their support to this important effort,” said Stefanik. “A half million students across the country will lose access to critical financial aid without action by Congress, so I’m pleased that a majority of my House colleagues have joined in support of H.R. 2482 – the Perkins Loan Extension Act. When I speak to students and families across my district, college affordability continues to be a major challenge. The Perkins Loan program is a critical tool to support low and middle income students, and I urge the House to swiftly pass this commonsense, bipartisan legislation to help students across the country achieve their dreams.”

“With more than half of the U.S. House of Representatives supporting the Perkins Loans Extension Act, we should immediately bring the bill to the floor for a vote. Hundreds of thousands of students across the country are counting on Congress to act by September 30 to reauthorize this program or their futures will be in jeopardy,” said Pocan. “These students attend colleges and universities across the country and the Perkins Loans program gives them the opportunity to access an education they would otherwise be unable to afford. No American should ever be denied the opportunity to achieve their dreams, especially when they have worked hard and are the first in their family to attend college, as many Perkins Loans recipients are.”

Pocan and Stefanik led the introduction of H.R. 2482, the Perkins Loan Extension Act, which extends the Perkins Loan Program for a period of 2 years so that students currently enrolled in the program can continue to receive financial aid. The legislation currently has 223 cosponsors in the House of Representatives and is supported by more than 30 education based organizations and more than 80 universities. Companion legislation has been introduced in the U.S. Senate by U.S. Senators Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Rob Portman (R-OH), Bob Casey (D-PA), and Susan Collins (R-ME).