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Congressman John Sarbanes

Representing the 3rd District of Maryland

Sarbanes Leads Effort to Protect Public Service Loan Forgiveness for Military Members and Other Public Servants

PSLF Author Mobilizes Opposition to Republican-led Plan That Eliminates Student Loan Forgiveness Program


Apr 30, 2018
Contact: Daniel Jacobs
(202) 225-4016

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman John Sarbanes (D-Md.) today announced that the U.S. Department of Defense has joined the effort to oppose a Republican-led bill that dismantles the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program.

The Defense Department issued its public support for the PSLF program after Congressman Sarbanes asked the Department in November 2017 to consider the positive impact that PSLF has on recruiting and retaining military officers. According to the Defense Department, “Elimination or restriction of the PSLF Program would adversely affect anyone considering public service who financed his or her own education – both undergraduate and graduate degrees – disproportionately impacting those in specialty fields, such as the Judge Advocate General Corps, for whom graduate degrees are required. Moreover, as the economy grows, the opportunity for much higher paying positions in the civilian sector makes it increasingly difficult for the Armed Services to compete for quality specialty personnel. Accordingly, the Department opposes any plans, or legislative proposals or provisions, to terminate this invaluable program….”

In supporting PSLF, the Defense Department joins the ranks of veterans groups, service-affiliated organizations and House Democrats who are fighting back against the PROSPER Act, a Republican bill that would eliminate the PSLF program.

“The Defense Department’s support for Public Service Loan Forgiveness is a testament to the program’s viability and proof that it provides tremendous benefits to our armed forces,” said Congressman Sarbanes, who authored the bill creating the PSLF program and who has led House Democrats in protecting and expanding the program.

Sarbanes continued, “The robust coalition we’ve built in support of PSLF underscores the important role that the program plays in the lives of our nation’s public servants, who choose careers that strengthen our communities and help underserved populations, but who are also compensated far less than their counterparts in the private sector. The fact that veterans’ groups, public service organizations and the Department of Defense are joining together with House Democrats to protect the program should serve as a warning to House Republicans who are dead set on eliminating this crucial program.”