Rep. Sewell Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Boost Post-Graduation Scholarships, Strengthen Workforce Recruitment in Rural America
WASHINGTON, D.C. – On Tuesday, Congresswoman Terri A. Sewell (D-AL) and Congressman Darin LaHood (R-IL) introduced H.R. 6486, a bill to amend the Internal Revenue Code to exclude certain post-graduation scholarship grants from being treated as gross income and, in turn, help recruit professionals into the workforce, help alleviate student loan debt, and promote economic growth in communities. This legislation would create parity for student loan payments with how scholarship payments made by foundations are currently treated under the tax code.
“Today’s bill takes a smart approach to building a skilled workforce in underserved communities while at the same time tackling our nation’s student debt crisis,” said Rep. Terri Sewell. “By providing tax relief to recipients of post-graduation scholarships, our bipartisan legislation supports programs which recruit skilled graduates to work in struggling communities where they are needed most. For our rural hospitals, which struggle so often to recruit medical professionals, programs like these are a critical pipeline of talent. I am proud to have worked with my Republican colleague Rep. Darin LaHood to introduce today’s bill, and I look forward to continuing our fight to strengthen America’s workforce and invest in rural and underserved communities.”
“This bipartisan legislation will not only help recruit talent to often underserved areas and professions, relieve individuals of student loan debt, and help foster economic development to particular regions, but charitable organizations will be provided greater flexible to serve their unique communities,” stated Rep. Darin LaHood. “With this amendment to the tax code, foundations and charitable organizations across the 18th District will be able to attract greater talent and reward professionals for committing to their local communities. I want to thank my Democratic colleague Rep. Sewell for co-authoring this bi-partisan legislation with me and I look forward to working together to get this legislation passed.”
A post-graduation scholarship is a type of charitable grant that foundations would make to attract individuals with career skills needed in a region to build their careers in that community. It functions much like a traditional scholarship, but would pay off a portion of student loans held by an individual who has already completed a degree or technical program.
Rep. Terri A. Sewell (D-AL) is serving her fourth term representing Alabama’s 7th Congressional district. She sits on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence and was recently appointed to the powerful House Ways and Means Committee. Sewell is a Chief Deputy Whip and serves on the prestigious Steering and Policy Committee of the Democratic Caucus. She is also a member of the Congressional Black Caucus, and serves as Vice Chair of the Congressional Voting Rights Caucus, and Vice Chair of Outreach for the New Democrat Coalition.