When the House passed the reconciliation bill Sunday, healthcare wasn’t the only subject. Also included was a massive overhaul of the student-loan program. Republicans call it a government takeover. What will saving more than $60 billion mean for struggling students? Also, Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu tests President Obama’s White House diplomacy, and three US cabinet officers, the head of intelligence and the chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff all spent yesterday in Mexico.
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There was a total news blackout last night at the White House when President Obama met Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu — for two hours in two separate sessions. In public, there wasn't even a handshake. Glenn Kessler is diplomatic correspondent for the Washington Post.
The scenario is all too familiar: increased demand and rising costs; diminishing revenues during a major recession. It's not healthcare, it's higher education. Yet -- almost without notice -- the two were packaged together in the reconciliation bill passed by the House on Sunday. The biggest student-loan change in 45 years would eliminate private middlemen in favor of government lending directly to struggling students. Some, but not all, of $61 billion in savings would go to Pell Grants for the neediest. Not one Republican voted for it. We hear the pros and cons.
Seth Stern, Legal Analyst, CQ Politics
Lauren Asher, President, Institute for College Access and Success
Brett Lief, President, National Council of Higher Education Loan Programs
Jason Delisle, Director, New America Foundation's Federal Education Budget Project
Anna Griswold, Executive Director of Student Aid, Penn State University
The US Secretaries of State, Defense and Homeland Security all went to Mexico yesterday along with the Director of National Intelligence and the Chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. It was all about a new strategy in the failing war on drugs. As she has in the past, Hillary Clinton said the US shares responsibility for the drug and gun trade that is fueling extraordinary violence south of the border. Ana Maria Salazar, former assistant secretary of defense for drug enforcement during the Clinton Administration, now lives in Mexico where she hosts a radio news show in English and a TV news program in Spanish.