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Tester: Pell Grants create jobs, boost US Economy
Student financial aid is the key to good jobs and wiping it out would "cut our economy down," Senator Jon Tester told his colleagues during a lively discussion on the floor of the US Senate. Tester, a former teacher, sharply criticized the US House of Representatives for "irresponsibly" trying to slash Pell Grants over the past year. A recently proposed House budget would cut Pell Grants by $3.6 billion, making college unaffordable for as many as 5000 Montanans according to the state's Associate Commissioner of Higher Education. The controversial House Resolution One, passed in February, would have cut $5.7 billion from the popular initiative. The Senate rejected this proposal on a bipartisan basis. "If Pell Grants are reduced or potentially even taken away, as some want, it takes away that opportunity for upward mobility within the economy," Tester said, noting that Pell Grants made higher education affordable for more than eight million students during the last school year. "Without education, if you want to improve your quality of life, it becomes much more difficult."