Democrats and higher education groups oppose Republican COVID-19 plan – Inside Higher Ed

A top Democrat on education issues said the first proposal put out by some Republicans to find a bipartisan proposal to provide more coronavirus relief would not do enough for higher education.

The comments by Representative Bobby Scott, the Virginia Democrat who chairs the House education committee, came as President Biden reportedly rejected a proposal by a group of 10 Republican senators as too small. Though Biden did not close the door on further negotiations with Republicans, he urged Democratic senators to go ahead with trying to pass the $1.9 trillion package he proposed, three times larger than the $618 billion proposed by the group of Republicans.

While the Republicans have said the price tag of Biden’s proposal is too high, Scott called the Republican proposal a “drop in the bucket” during an hourlong interview with education reporters Tuesday.

“Obviously a lot is going to get dropped out. Not just COVID relief checks but aid to everything,” he said during the call sponsored by the Education Writers Association. “Support for higher education, instead of being enhanced under that proposal, will be diminished.”

Indeed, the Republican proposal would offer no further aid to colleges and universities, despite their request for an additional $97 billion to make up for their losses during the pandemic.

The proposal was blasted by associations, including the Association of Public and Land-grant Universities. Even though the $23 billion in aid included in the two previous relief packages falls short of the need and doesn’t include relief that would make up for additional
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