This morning House Speaker Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Reid released detailed budget plans that both protect and fund the Pell Grant program. Both bills are called the “Budget Control Act of 2011.”

Both chambers expect to consider these bills on their floors before the end of the week.

The proposals protect and fund the Pell program, without completely decimating appropriations available for the other student aid programs.

The House plan provides an additional $17 billion in mandatory funding over the next two years, while the Senate provides $18 billion. Both reach these increases by eliminating the in-school interest on student loans for graduate and professional students.

In addition:

— Both plans cut discretionary spending by $1.2 trillion now, but it is unclear what the breakdown is between defense and non-defense caps.

— On the debt ceiling, the House would raise it by $1 trillion now, getting the government through February of 2012, while the Senate bill raises it by $2.4 trillion, getting through all of 2012.

— Both bills call for 10-year spending caps and a joint congressional committee to report out a deficit reduction plan by the end of the year. The House has stricter enforcement mechanisms than the Senate, and calls for both chambers to vote on a balanced budget constitutional amendment by October 1, 2011.

We’ll keep you updated as things move this week!




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