MONTGOMERY, Ala. (WSFA) - Congress has passed a bill to permanently restore annual funding for Historically Black Colleges and Universities, or HBCUs, and minority-serving institutions. The bill now awaits President Donald Trump’s signature.
The bipartisan bill was spearheaded by Sen. Doug Jones, D-Ala., and would restore more than $250 million each year to HBCUs. The funding stopped Sept. 30, 2019.
“Today we are sending an important message of support for our HBCUs and showing in no uncertain terms that we believe they are vital to our system of higher education,” said Jones in a press release after it passed Dec. 10.
There are fourteen HBCUs in Alabama. Sen. Jones calls them a “gateway” to the middle class for first-generation, low-income, and minority Americans.
HERE IS THE VOTE BREAKDOWN: 319-96
Brooks and Byrne have not yet responded to questions about why they did not support the bill, which also simplifies the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) and limits the number of questions to 22.
“With our proposal today, we also take an important first step toward simplifying our federal student aid application and helping more students achieve the dream of a college education," said Jones.
Even the president’s daughter and close adviser, Ivanka Trump, seemed to show support for the legislation on Twitter.