All the students out there constantly in fear that one piece of legislation or another will cut their education funding can relax. For now at least.
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) proposed an amendment this morning that would repeal the Affordable Care Act. At first this doesn't sound like news. Republicans have regularly tried to repeal healthcare reform since it passed. What made this attempt different is that Cruz forgot to set aside the provisions that have helped students pay for college.
So while the amendment failed, going down with a vote of 45-54, and students can breathe a sigh of relief, it raises the question of whether Cruz thinks higher education funding is a priority. Millennials clearly do.
Republicans have tried to repeal all or parts of the Affordable Care Act at least 54 times and in this latest attempt, Cruz included cuts to Pell Grant funding, money for historically black colleges, and $2 billion for community colleges as an added jab.
"That's fine if you want to do that," Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) said. "But I don't think senators on the other side of the aisle want to vote to decrease Pell Grants."
"In my judgement, Obamacare should not be funded and implemented at a time when our economy is gasping for breath," Cruz said to the Senate this morning.
While the amendment failed, some Democrats were quick to point out that these efforts will continue.
"That will not stop Ted Cruz and it's not going to stop the House Republicans from continuing to ignore the will of the people and attempt to thwart Obamacare," Rep. Steve Israel (D-N.Y.) said in an interview with the Huffington Post after the vote.
"When he says every member of this body [Senate] should stand together to defeat Obamacare—what he's really saying is every member of this body should stand together to go back to the days where a woman with breast cancer is told that her breast cancer is a pre-existing condition. To go back to the days when someone who is sick is told that that sickness is too expensive for the insurance company to cover, so they lose their policy. American's don't want to go back to those days," Israel added.
Today's amendment from Cruz, which represents an enormous giveaway to Wall Street banks at the expense of millions of students and their families struggling to pay for college, comes less than a week after he told an audience at CPAC that "we need to abolish the Department of Education."
If students in Texas are looking for an advocate in Congress who will fight for college affordability, they'll have to look to someone else.