Jill Biden confirms major omission from spending bill
Though free community college was promised by US President Joe Biden when previously promoting his administration’s massive spending packages, it will no longer be included, the first lady confirmed on Monday.
While visiting a community college summit in Washington, DC, Jill Biden said funding for such tuitions is “no longer part” of the Build Back Better spending package, which has struggled to make its way through the Senate. Biden went on to say she was “disappointed” at the turn of events, calling the lack of support in Congress for such an initiative a “real lesson in human nature.”
“We knew that this wasn’t going to be easy. Joe always said that. Still, like you, I was disappointed because like you, these aren’t just bills or budgets to me, to you, right? We know what they mean for real people, for our students,” Biden, who is a community college professor, said.
Two free years of community college, amounting to more than $45 billion, was an early promise by the president. However, Biden’s Build Back Better has struggled to gain support from both Republicans and some essential Democratic senators, including Sen. Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia).
Free community college was already stripped from the nearly $2 trillion version of the Build Back Better package released in October, which ultimately failed to pass the Senate. At the time, Biden promised that free college tuition would remain a priority for the administration, but he cast doubt on how soon it could happen.
“I doubt whether we'll get the entire funding for community colleges, but I'm not going to give up on community colleges as long as I'm president,” he said.