Friday, July 13, 2007

Pete Sessions votes "no" to low income housing

In a vote of 333-83, the House passed a bill to overhaul the low income housing program; Pete Sessions was one of the few to vote against the Section 8 Voucher Reform Act of 2007, which will add 20,000 vouchers over a 5-year period. From Globe Street:
WASHINGTON, DC-In what could be the federal government’s biggest push in recent times to address low-income housing needs, the US House of Representatives passed a bill last night that could overhaul the housing voucher program.
Called the Section 8 Voucher Reform Act of 2007, the legislation, which passed 333-83, would amend the United States Housing Act of 1937 to change certain aspects of the Department of Housing and Urban Development's rental assistance programs.

Among other changes, the bill alters calculations of income, tenant rent, and public housing authority funding, change requirements for the inspection of housing units, and adjust requirements for the targeting of housing assistance.

The bill would add 20,000 vouchers a year over five years to the program. CBO estimates that implementing this legislation would have a net cost of $2.4 billion.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Pete Sessions Votes against College Cost Reduction Act of 2007

Yesterday afternoon, the House voted 273-149 to pass the College Cost Reduction Act of 2007. Pete Sessions voted No. From New York Times:
WASHINGTON, July 11 — The House on Wednesday approved far-reaching changes in student aid programs, voting to cut $19 billion in federal subsidies to student lenders over five years, while increasing grants for needy students and halving interest rates on federally backed loans with the savings.
Back in January, Pete Sessions was one of only 71 Members of Congress to vote against cutting student loan interest rates, so it's no big surprise that he voted against college students.

Here's another excerpt from the New York Times article:
The bill marks a stark reversal of fortune for the student loan industry, which for over 10 years had largely enjoyed unflagging support under the Republican majority. Investigations by Congress, the news media and the New York attorney general bruised the standing of lenders, exposing systems of paying colleges commissions to win business, offering college officials free trips and other perks...

...Pointing to increases in college costs that have outpaced inflation by nearly 40 percent over the last five years, Representative George Miller, Democrat of California and chairman of the Education Committee, likened the legislation to the G.I. Bill, which began government financing of higher education in exchange for military service in 1944.

“That took us to the first place in the world, and we’ve been there for 50 years,” Mr. Miller said. “This is about a new investment for the next generation.”