Perkins Loan Call to Action: Contact Your Senators and Representatives in Support of Perkins Appropriations

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May 29, 2012 · by COHEAO · Spark Notes
COHEAO is encouraging all members to contact their Representatives and Senators to support funding for the Perkins Loan Program. Though the program has not received any funding in the past few years, FY2013 may present an opportunity for appropriations, particularly in terms of cancellations, so it is critical for COHEAO members to participate in these efforts.

If there is any chance of Congress appropriating funds for the Perkins Loans, supporters of the program must contact their Representatives and Senators. There are two current opportunities for COHEAO members to advocate for Perkins funding in the House and Senate.

In the Senate, the Senate Labor-HHS-Education Appropriations Subcommittee is currently working on crafting a FY2013 spending bill. Though the final appropriations bill will not reach the Floor until much later in the year, the text of the bill after it passes the Committee is a critical aspect of the process. The Labor-HHS-Education Subcommittee is scheduled to mark up the FY2013 spending bill on June 12 and the full Committee is scheduled to have its markup on June 14, so the time for contacting your Senators is now. COHEAO is encouraging members to contact their Senators, particularly those whose Senators serve on the Senate Appropriations Committee, to urge support for Perkins Loan cancellations and FCC.

In the House, Rep. Tim Bishop (D-NY), a longtime champion of Perkins Loans and the campus-based programs, is leading an effort to encourage appropriators to restore funding. COHEAO members are encouraged to contact their Representatives to urge them sign onto a letter Rep. Bishop will be sending to the Appropriations Committee seeking funding for cancellation reimbursements and FCC. A draft copy of the letter Rep. Bishop intends to submit to the House Appropriations Committee is attached with this COHEAO Spark. Please urge your Representatives to sign onto this letter as soon as possible.

The COHEAO Perkins Task Force held a conference call to discuss sending letters as well as accompanying conference calls to allow members to discuss these issues with Congressional staff as a strong complement to these efforts. If you would like to participate in a conference call with Congressional staff to support Perkins funding (or would simply like assistance in contacting the appropriate staff for your Representatives or Senators), please contact Wes Huffman (, Nancy Paris (, or Karen Reddick (

Sample letters to send to your Representatives and Senators, as well as updated information on Perkins Loans to inform your advocacy efforts are all available in the advocacy section of the COHEAO website under the heading “FY2013 Advocacy Materials”: