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I did too elect Jill Biden! Thanks for explaining the Presidential policy on free college.

Jill Biden Says Free Community College Off Table for Build Back Better Bill

First lady’s comments come as Democrats’ economic agenda remains stalled

Bill Burr left: Comic gold baby!

First lady Jill Biden said that free community college is no longer part of the Democrats’ stalled Build Back Better package.

By Catherine Lucey, WSJ

Feb. 7, 2022 1:18 pm ET

First lady Jill Biden said that two years of tuition-free community college won’t be part of the Democrats’ stalled child-care, healthcare and climate package, as she addressed a gathering of community college educators.

“Congress hasn’t passed the Build Back Better legislation yet. And free community college is no longer part of that package,” the longtime community college professor said Monday during remarks to the 2022 Community College National Legislative Summit.

“We knew that this wasn’t going to be easy. Joe always said that. Still, like you, I was disappointed,” Dr. Biden said.

President Biden told lawmakers in October that community college would likely not be in the bill—known as the Build Back Better agenda—and it wasn’t included in the roughly $2 trillion version that passed the House last year. That plan then stalled after Sen. Joe Manchin (D., W.Va.) said he was opposed, dooming its chances in the 50-50 Senate. Democrats are now looking for a path forward on a scaled-back plan.

Mr. Manchin is expected to largely control whether the party moves forward with a package, which has been the centerpiece of President Biden’s economic agenda. Mr. Manchin has pushed to narrow the breadth of the bill and hold hearings, while also raising concerns about its long-term price tag and possible impact on inflation.

“The Build Back Better as it has been presented over, what, the last seven, eight, nine months, that bill no longer will exist,” Mr. Manchin said on CNN Sunday.

The president’s original proposal would have waived tuition for two years of public community college, as well as provide many students more cash to cover living expenses. In an address to Congress last April, Mr. Biden said that his wife would be “deeply involved” in leading the effort.

In a press conference last month, Mr. Biden said he wasn’t sure he could get funding for community college in any new effort.

Speaking to the summit on Monday, Dr. Biden said the social spending plan would invest in areas such as child care, preschool and climate change, saying: “Build Back Better isn’t just a piece of legislation. And it’s certainly not a football to pass or pivot.”

Dr. Biden is a professor at Northern Virginia Community College, where she also taught as second lady during the Obama administration.

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