Bernie Sanders introduces "College for All Act" to make public colleges tuition-free

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) introduced the College for All Act Monday, a piece of legislation that would make four-year public colleges and universities tuition-free.

Sanders introduced the bill with Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.), who Sanders endorsed when she ran for Congress in 2016.

The bill looks exactly like the plan Sanders worked on with Hillary Clinton during the 2016 presidential campaign. 

According to a release from Sanders' office, the plan would "eliminate tuition and fees at four-year public colleges and universities for families making up to $125,000 — about 80% of the population — and make community college tuition- and fee-free for all."

"Higher education in America should be a right for all, not a privilege for the few," Sanders said in a release. "If we are to succeed in a highly competitive global economy and have the best-educated workforce in the world, public colleges and universities must become tuition-free for working families and we must substantially reduce student debt."

A number of Democrats have co-sponsored the bill. According to Sanders' office, they are: Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.). In the House, Reps. Bobby Scott (D-Va.), Keith Ellison (D-Minn.), Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Rick Nolan (D-Minn.), Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-D.C.), Nydia Velázquez (D-N.Y.), John Conyers (D-Mich.), Peter Welch (D-Vt.), Mark Pocan (D-Wis.), David Cicilline (D-R.I.) and Jamie Raskin (D-Md.).

While the legislation makes good on a promise Sanders made during the Democratic presidential primary, it's unlikely it will see the light of day in Congress. Republicans hold majorities in both the House and Senate — and control what bills make it to the floor for a vote. And Republicans, including President Donald Trump, are against the plan.


"There's no such thing as free education," Trump said at a town hall during the election.

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Emily C. Singer

Emily C. Singer, née Cahn, is a senior writer for Mic covering politics. She is based in New York and can be reached at esinger@mic.com

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