GOP lawmaker developing blueprint on containing college costs

Rep. Tom Reed (R-N.Y.) said Thursday that he is working on a blueprint for ways to make higher education more affordable.

“It’s going to get into areas of transparency, accountability, making sure that tuition is going in the right direction, which is down,” the House Ways and Means Committee member told reporters.

He added that he is aiming to release the blueprint later this year or early next year.

The package will include a “basket” of draft bills in legislative text, Reed said. He plans to push the bills individually, when there is an opportunity to pass them.

Reed has been working for months on a proposal to require colleges to spend 25 percent of their endowment earnings on tuition reduction for working families.

Another proposal that would be part of the package would involve reforms to the returns colleges file to the IRS to increase transparency about how students’ tuition dollars are being spent, Reed said. There will also be sections on online courses and on ensuring that Pell Grants and Perkins Loans are available to make college more affordable for eligible students.

Republican staff members on the Ways and Means Committee are working on tax-reform legislation that would be ready to be rolled out early next year. Reed said that some parts of his package could be included in that bill.