Vermont politician Bernie Sanders is looking to expand on President Obama’s idea of free college tuition for community colleges across the country by proposing a plan to give free tuition to any student at any public college or university for two years.
Sanders, an Independent who caucuses with the Democrats in the U.S. Senate, said in a speech on Feb.17, “In the United States, all people who have the desire and the ability should be able, in this changing economy, to receive all the education they need regardless of their income.”
The senator, a self-identified socialist, currently holds a position as a member on the Senate Budget Committee, allowing him to put these proposals in the forefront.
In his State of the Union speech this year, President Obama also called for free tuition for students during their freshman and sophomore years of college, albeit at community colleges only. However, the $60 billion plan has made little headway in the Republican-controlled Senate, where Obama’s idea of another round of tax hikes to pay for his plan will not sit well with the newly elected majority.
Sanders didn’t say how his even more expensive plan would be paid for, only stating statistics that showcase how America’s education system is behind other developed countries.
The veteran Vermont politician has expressed interest in running for President in 2016, possibly challenging Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton and the increasingly popular Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts).
However, most political analysts have written his campaign off already, due to his past controversial comments and socialist beliefs.
Just last year, the Senator said that the tax rate on the wealthiest Americans “will be more than it is right now" if he were President, but never elaborated on an actual figure.
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