Congressman Bill Pascrell

Representing the 9th District of NEW JERSEY

College Opportunity and Affordability Act of 2007

Feb 7, 2008
Floor Speech



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   Mr. PASCRELL. Mr. Chairman, I support H.R. 4137. It is a great piece of legislation. I commend Chairman Miller and Ranking Member McKeon and all the members of the committee. I think that this is truly visionary with regard to the cost, restoring integrity and accountability, and expanding college access.

   I am the first member of my family to have the opportunity to go to college. I deeply appreciate what the committee has done. There is one part of the bill I want to provide emphasis to and that is the fire safety part. I have worked on this issue for over 7 years. I was deeply involved in the issue after the horrific fire at Seton Hall University in South Orange in 2000. We lost three students. Fifty-eight other students were injured severely.

   This horrible tragedy made it clear that something needed to be done to educate students, their families, the faculty and the staff about the dangers of fires on campuses; and that is why I introduced the Campus Fire Safety Right to Know Act. Parents and students have a right to know about the school's campus fire safety policies and records.

   I ask full support of this legislation, and I thank the committee members again for the great work they did.