U.S. Senator Tommy Tuberville on Wednesday led the introduction of the Graduate Opportunity and Affordable Loans (GOAL) Act. Sen. Tuberville was joined at Wednesday’s press conference by Sens. Bill Cassidy (R-Louisiana), Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), and John Cornyn (R-Texas) in a joint press conference.
“I spent almost 40 years in this business of education,” Sen. Tuberville said. “In that time, I have seen the cost of college go up, and the quality of education go down.”
Tuberville said that the growing student debt is having a crippling effect on students.
“Many are putting off owning a home and starting a family,” Tuberville said. “Debt is a problem.”
Tuberville and the other Senators said that unlimited federal student loans have allowed colleges and universities to raise tuition, gaming the system.
“All they have done is raise the cost for students whether they have loans or not,” Tuberville said.
Tuberville explained that the legislation would tell student borrowers the likelihood of graduation from a program at that school, the amount of debt that program will cost, and the likely salary of the position that they will get once they finish the program.
Tuberville said that this would force schools to bring down costs and compete for students. “This is just one step in restoring sanity,” Tuberville stated.
The Republican Senators introduced a package of five bills, including Tuberville’s.
“We need to pass all of this legislation today,” Tuberville said. “We are here today to lower costs for students, parents, and taxpayers.”
“We could name this the Save College Education for the Middle-Class Act,” Tuberville said. “Education is not free. We have to pay for it,”
“Education should not be a big business, but it is,” Tuberville.
“We should put our nose to the grindstone, and everyone should have to pay for their own,” Tuberville said.
Tuberville represents Alabama on the Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions (HELP) Committee, where he is the ranking member of the Subcommittee on Children and Families. Sen. Tuberville says that he is committed to lowering costs for students, parents, and taxpayers.
Tuberville has repeatedly called on the Biden administration to address the root causes of rising tuition costs and the student loan crisis.
From 1980–2020, the average cost of college attendance nearly tripled, rising 169%, much faster than inflation overall, which rose by just 26%. At the same time, federal student aid increased by 57%. According to a 2017 study conducted by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, expanding student loans increased college tuition by roughly the same amount: 60%.
Tuberville has steadfastly opposed President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan. Earlier this year, Senator Tuberville cosponsored and voted for legislation to stop the U.S. Department of Education’s rule to cancel $10,000 in student loan debt for every borrower making less than $125,000 per year. Borrowers who received federal Pell Grants would receive an additional $10,000 in debt transference from President Biden’s Executive Order.
“Joe Biden’s student loan giveaway is illegal,” Coach Tuberville said. “It’s bad economics. It’s bad education policy, and it’s just plain wrong. It encourages our students to take out more debt, and it encourages colleges and universities to raise prices. Joe Biden’s student debt handout costs taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars and drives up inflation. This is an absolutely reckless policy, and I’m going to do everything I can to stop it.”
The plan, which Congress voted to overturn via Congressional Review Act resolution, is expected to cost American taxpayers $400 billion. President Biden vetoed the bipartisan resolution. The U.S. Supreme Court is expected to issue a decision in a case challenging the Biden administration’s unlawful student loan cancelation scheme later this month.
Tuberville’s office pointed out that the vast majority of the American people do not have graduate degrees or even college degrees. Nearly nine in ten Americans have no student debt, and the majority of all student debt is held by Americans in the top 60% of income.
Tommy Tuberville was elected to the Senate in 2020. He is a member of the Senate Armed Services, Agriculture, Veterans Affairs, and HELP Committees. Tuberville spent four decades as an educator and coach – most notably as the head football coach at the University of Mississippi, Auburn University, Texas Tech University, and the University of Cincinnati. He was also the defensive coordinator at the University of Miami, and at Texas A&M. Prior to his political campaign, he was a sports broadcaster. Tuberville is a native of Arkansas and resides in Auburn.