First lady Jill Biden confirmed the Biden administration will not be able to deliver on one of Jill’s signature initiatives, free community college to Americans, and acknowledged a major defeat for President Biden’s economic agenda but vowed to keep fighting.
Speaking at the Community College National Legislative Summit, Jill said: “One year ago, I told this group that Joe was going to fight for community colleges. Congress hasn’t passed the Build Back Better legislation yet. And free community college is no longer part of that package.
“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. And it was a real lesson in human nature that some people just don’t get that.
“We’ve seen how entire towns can be transformed when community colleges and private companies work together to train students for jobs that are desperately needed, with skills like manufacturing or modernizing our electrical grid.
“Too often, we treat what happens in our nations’ capital like a sports game too, wondering which team will score the most points with voters.
“Legislation becomes a football to keep away from the other side and Americans get lost in the playbook.
“Governing does have one thing in common with sports. When you get knocked down, you get back up.
“When you lose, you work harder and you come back for more.
“Joe doesn’t quit, he doesn’t give up. He is keeping his promise to rebuild our middle class and he knows that community colleges do just that.
“With work and persistence, we will win the progress that our students deserve,” she said. “We are not giving up.”
From The Daily Mail:
President Biden reportedly told progressive Democrats back in October that he expected to drop tuition-free community college and curtail the child tax credit program in the final version of his Build Back Better bill.
But publicly that month he also said free tuition community college would happen.
‘I’m going to get it done,’ Biden said during a CNN town hall with Anderson Cooper. ‘And if I don’t, I’ll be sleeping alone for a long time,’ he said, alluding to the fact the first lady was a champion of the measure.
Biden initially proposed that Congress appropriate $109 billion for two years of free community college.
But moderate lawmakers like Senator Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema had expressed concern about the overall price tag of the president’s bill – which contained funding measures for education, child care, health and the environment. It was last estimated at $1.75 trillion.
Last week, Manchin said the current version of Build Back Better was ‘dead,’ but noted he was open to a new round of talks with the White House.
‘What Build Back Better bill?’ Manchin told reporters on Capitol Hill when asked about the legislation. ‘It’s dead.’