The Eutaw City Council met for its regular second meeting of the month on Tuesday, November 28, 2023. The Mayor and four council members: Jacqueline Stewart, Tracey Hunter, Valerie Watkins, and Larrie Coleman, were present.
Joe Powell, Assistant City Clerk, opened bids for repair of two rest rooms at the Robert H. Young Community Center (former Carver School).
There were two bids, and the Council awarded the bid to M&H Construction Company for $17,500. He also opened bids for repair of one rest room at the National Guard Armory. M&H Construction was again the low bidder at $7,500 for this work.
The Council asked the Mayor and staff to carefully check the bonding and insurance qualifications of the low bidder to make sure they were in compliance with the bid requirements and specifications before award the bids.
The Council also approved advertising for sale of a used Greyhound bus using the city’s website, to determine if there is any interest in purchasing this surplus item.
The Council tabled a sale of land on Boligee Street to the Greene County Commission, for construction of a water park. There were questions about the nature of the proposed water park and the inclusion of a redemption clause in the sale if the project is not built within a reasonable period of time.
An offer of $6,000 from Freedom Rock Church to purchase four acres of city owned land, was rejected by the Council for being below the fair market value of the land. The church proposed to purchase land on the Lock 7 Road, near the City Park, for construction of a church and community building. The Mayor said, “We are supportive of building the church and community facilities, but we want them to pay a fair price We will try to get an appraisal to show the fair market value of the land.”
The Council, which has vacated the District 2 seat of LaJeffrey Carpenter, agreed that December 6 was the deadline for residents of the district to send a letter of interest in the position; and that the Council will interview applicants on December 11 for the position, so an appointment can be made, and the position filled at the December 12 next regular meeting of the Council.
The Council received several financial reports from Financial Adviser Ralph Liverman on the status of city bank accounts. They also voted to pay bills that had been processed by staff for payment.
In the public comments section, there were several comments from residents, including Faye Tyree and Vivian Carpenter that the City of Eutaw was not moving forward as quickly as they wished.
Rosa Parks’ refusal to move to the segregated section of the bus sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott and the beginning of the Civil Rights Movement.
Gene Herrick/AP On December 1, 1955, Rosa Parks boarded a city bus after work in Montgomery, Alabama, and sat down. As the bus filled with passengers, the driver demanded the 42-year-old seamstress move further back into the segregated Black section of the bus so a White man could have her seat. Parks famously refused. She was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. But that bold decision is widely credited with launching the Montgomery Bus Boycott and ultimately the Civil Rights Movement in the United States. This week, members of the Congressional Black Caucus marked the 68thanniversary of Rosa Parks’ arrest by urging Congress to support a bill that would declare December 1, “Rosa Parks Day,” a federal holiday. “This is not just about Black history. It’s about American history,” said Alabama Rep. Terri Sewell at a news conference Wednesday. Sewell, an Alabama Democrat, introduced H.R. 308 which would establish the federal holiday, in January. The bill is backed by 31 co-sponsors, all of whom are members of the Congressional Black Caucus. “I know that all of us, this whole nation, has benefited from the courage and bravery of this one woman,” Sewell said. The proposed holiday, Sewell added, would ensure Parks’ sacrifice is remembered. It would also establish the first federal holiday honoring a woman, according to the lawmakers. “By simply refusing to give up her seat, Rosa Parks stood up for the values that this nation holds dear. With her quiet, dignified courage, she took a stand against a city steeped in segregation, and in doing so, she sparked the beginning of a movement that changed the very fabric of our nation,” she said. Parks’ defiance sparked the 13-month Montgomery Bus Boycott, which was organized by Martin Luther King Jr. The nonviolent mass protest ended with the Supreme Court ruling that segregation on public buses is unconstitutional. “Rosa Parks is a martyr for equality, an icon to all, a crusader for justice. And truly, she was a phenomenal Black woman whose legacy should be revered as a hero in American history books and well beyond our borders,” Ohio Rep. Joyce Beatty said at the news conference. “It is past time to give Rosa Parks the national recognition she deserves.” Nevada Rep. Steven Horsford, a Democrat who chairs the Congressional Black Caucus, said the bill is important, particularly amid what he described as “the rise in efforts to erase and rewrite history – Black history.” “That is why it’s important for us to reclaim our history, to honor our history, to promote our history,” he said. Sewell said she wants both Republicans and Democrats to back the bill. She said she hopes personal discussions with colleagues and speaking on the House floor about the significance of Rosa Parks Day will help move the legislation forward.
Congresswoman Terri Sewell at Congressional hearing
By: Patrick Darrington, Alabama Political Reporter
U.S. Congresswoman Rep. Terri Sewell, D-Selma, has signed onto a letter calling for a bilateral ceasefire in the Israel-Palestine war. Rep. Troy Carter, D-LA led the letter, and it calls on President Joe Biden to use his power to broker a bilateral ceasefire as Israel continues its offensive in Gaza. Along with Sewell, 10 other Democratic House members also signed onto the letter. Sewell’s communication director, Christopher Kosteva, talked to APR and clarified Sewell’s position. According to Kosteva, Sewell believes in a bilateral pause that would lead to a bilateral ceasefire. The congresswoman does not believe in a unilateral ceasefire on the part of Israel or calls for Israel to stop fighting Hamas without a bilateral deal. Sewell supports Israel’s “right to self-defense” against Hamas, Kosteva stated. Sewell is the first, and only, Alabama congressperson to publicly support a call for a pause or potential ceasefire of any kind. “This pause in violence is set to expire tomorrow, and it is our fervent hope that negotiations can continue and extend the current pause in hostilities and continue the release of those held hostage by Hamas,” the letter to Biden read. “We urge you to use your immense influence and the full power of your office to continue negotiations and extend the bilateral pause beyond tomorrow so that both sides can build towards a bilateral ceasefire and, ultimately, a two-state solution.” On Nov. 23 a temporary ceasefire was agreed to that halted the bombing and fighting so that a hostage exchange could take place between Israel and Hamas. The ceasefire was extended until two days ago as negotiations fell apart and Israel has resumed its bombing campaign. Despite the Biden administration claiming to be using its power behind the scenes to fuel an extended pause in fighting and stress civilian casualties, they continue to supply Israel with more arms and weapons.
On Oct. 7, the militant wing of Hamas launched an attack on Israel that killed hundreds of civilians including women and children. The approximate death toll is around 1,200 and Hamas has been accused of committing war crimes during the attack. Since Israel’s indiscriminate bombing campaign began in Gaza over 15,200 Palestinian people have been killed including 6,150 children. Hospitals, schools, refugee camps and ambulances have been deliberately targeted with airstrikes by Israel. Israel has been accused by human rights organizations of committing collective punishment, a war crime.
WVTM reported, a few days prior to Sewell signing onto the letter, that students at the University of Alabama at Birmingham were calling for the congresswoman to support a permanent ceasefire during a temporary pause in fighting. Included in the article is a Palestinian student, Rozana Kafineh, who said she was heartbroken to see her country go through the war. “A temporary [ceasefire is not enough],” Abdo Mutlaq told WVTM. “You can pause a video game. You can pause the video, but you can’t pause genocide.” The full letter can be read on line.
Actor Colman Domingo who plays Bayard Rustin in movie
By Max Gao, NBC News
Six decades after Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his iconic “I Have a Dream” speech in front of an estimated 250,000 people on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, a new Netflix film is shining a spotlight on one of the architects of the March on Washington who has largely been left out of the history books. Directed by George C. Wolfe (“Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom”) and written by Julian Breece and Academy Award-winner Dustin Lance Black (“Milk”), “Rustin” revisits a crucial chapter in the life of civil rights activist Bayard Rustin (played by Colman Domingo), who is best known for being a key adviser to King and organizing the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom. Executive produced by Michelle and Barack Obama, who posthumously awarded Rustin the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2013, the buzzy biopic dramatizes the weeks leading up to the historic march and explores Rustin’s identity as an openly gay Black man torn between love and duty in the 1960s. “I love the fact that, even the way the script is written, we don’t leave his sexuality out of it at all. It’s infused with every part of who he is,” Domingo told NBC News in a recent video interview. “He’s messy in many ways, even with his relationship dealings. He’s a real, flawed human being who’s trying to do something extraordinary, but he’s just an ordinary man. He’s trying to figure out the systems in which he lives and trying to move the needle a little bit on our humanity.” Wolfe, an acclaimed theater director and playwright who won multiple Tony Awards for directing Tony Kushner’s “Angels in America” and his own “Bring in ’da Noise, Bring in ’da Funk” in the 1990s, has long been interested in telling stories about ordinary people who do extraordinary things. Wolfe was asked to curate an exhibit more than a decade ago at the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta, where he had an opportunity to delve into the life and accomplishments of Rustin, who died in 1987. That treasure trove of research has proven invaluable in the five years that it has taken for “Rustin” to reach the big screen. In 2018, Black, the screenwriter, and film producer Bruce Cohen approached Tonia Davis at the Obamas’ newly launched production company, Higher Ground, about making a feature film centered around Rustin’s role in the March on Washington. Wolfe was attached early on as the director and worked closely with the writers to refine the screenplay and before long, he said, they could not imagine anyone other than Domingo, with whom he had just worked on “Ma Rainey,” to play the titular character in “Rustin.” Domingo said he likely encountered Rustin’s story for the first time as a footnote in a college textbook but it wasn’t until years later, in the ’90s, that the actor learned about the extent of Rustin’s impact on the civil rights movement. For the better part of the last two decades, Domingo recalled, people would regularly tell him, “Oh, that’s a role that you should definitely play when they do the movie of his life,” perhaps because they shared so much in common. (Like Rustin, Domingo is Black, gay, tall, left-handed and born in Pennsylvania.) So, when the time came to step into his shoes, Domingo voraciously consumed every piece of media he could find about Rustin — reading biographies, watching documentaries, visiting museums, listening to interviews — but he admitted that he was able to glean the most insight from his personal conversations with those who knew the man behind the movement. “I think one of the most beautiful things that I love to do, especially with playing a real-life character, is to find out from people who knew and loved him all these personal ticks or things about them that you cannot find in Wikipedia,” Domingo said. For example, the actor — who grew up in Philadelphia, about an hour away from Rustin’s hometown of West Chester, Pennsylvania — could not understand the origin of Rustin’s idiosyncratic, mid-Atlantic accent until Rachelle Horowitz, one of the activist’s comrades, revealed that Rustin simply made it up and used it as a kind of “flourish” in group meetings. Rustin was always looking for new ways to reinvent himself and challenge the limits that others attempted to place on him, Domingo said. “He created himself in a very joyfully defiant way: being an athlete, playing the lute, singing Elizabethan love songs, actually cutting an album of Elizabethan love songs and hymns, being a conscientious objector, being part of the young communist groups. He was just doing what made sense to him in every single moment. That’s what I thought was fascinating.” While some filmmakers have chosen to depict civil rights icons with almost the quality of a saint in the past, Wolfe felt strongly about depicting Rustin in all his complexity — a decision that he hopes will make this story as accessible to the masses as possible. Part of Rustin’s struggle, both in real life and in the film, stemmed from the issue of whether his sexuality could hinder other people’s beliefs in his ability to lead the March on Washington and beyond. The activist, after all, faced resistance not only from the white populace but also from members of the Black community, including NAACP executive Roy Wilkins (Chris Rock) and Rep. Adam Clayton Powell Jr. (Jeffrey Wright). That dilemma “was always his internal crisis,” Domingo said. “How can you be exactly who you are and do what you know you are gifted to do, but then there’s parts of yourself that are not wanted in rooms? How can you do it? That’s a dance that I think many of us can understand, whether we’re people of color, whether you’re LGBTQIA. But he was extraordinary, saying, ‘I want to bring all of me into this.’” Wolfe noted that, given the time period, Rustin was a remarkably “out homosexual” who “claimed and owned all of who he was” in 1963. For this retelling of the leader’s life story, Wolfe and his creative team decided to create the character of Elias Taylor (Johnny Ramey), a fictionalized pastor on the NAACP board, who acts as a kind of foil and closeted love interest to the more free-spirited Rustin. “Elias becomes a really interesting person in contrast” to Rustin, who was raised by Quaker grandparents in the North, because Elias “is Southern, he’s Baptist, he’s married. He has done all the things that are expected for him to do,” Wolfe explained. “There’s a line in the film which Bayard uses called ‘the suffocating chains of Negro respectability,’ and Bayard has liberated himself largely from those suffocating chains, and Elias is very much so imprisoned by those chains.” That liberation, however, doesn’t mean Rustin is not haunted by his own past. As the march draws closer, Strom Thurmond, a segregationist senator from South Carolina, exposes Rustin’s arrest in 1953 when he was found having sex with two men in a parked car in Pasadena — a real-life charge that was pardoned by California Gov. Gavin Newsom in 2020. In that pivotal scene, where Rustin and his team of fellow march organizers are listening to Thurmond speak about Rustin’s arrest record on the radio, Rustin is “trying to hold onto the only thing he knows how to do while they’re trying to destroy him,” Domingo explained. “For me, that’s what I wanted to play — that complexity where he’s completely disintegrating in front of our eyes while he’s trying to stay on task.” The film carries a special professional significance for Domingo, one of the most versatile actors of his generation. After more than 30 years of working as a self-described “journeyman” actor and receiving acclaim for playing supporting roles in “Fear the Walking Dead,” “If Beale Street Could Talk” and “Euphoria” (for which he won a guest actor Emmy), “Rustin” is Domingo’s first major leading role. “I think the chickens have come home to roost in a way where people can see the scope of what I’ve been doing and what I’ve been creating for years, and it’s being met with such loving, celebratory arms that if I sat in or really thought about it, I would never stop crying, because I think it’s really beautiful,” Domingo said, with a glint in his eye. “It feels like people are giving me my flowers — not that I’ve asked for them, but because I’ve always, I guess, like Bayard Rustin, always kept my head down and just went to work.”
By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent
Donald Trump is “the most dangerous man ever to inhabit the Oval Office,” and a large swath of Republicans have proven that they’re nothing more than enablers and collaborators willing to “violate their oath to the Constitution out of political expediency and loyalty” to the twice-impeached former president. That scathing assessment, first reported by CNN, came from former GOP Rep. Liz Cheney, who has penned “Oath and Honor,” a detailed exposé about Trump’s four years in the White House and how many of her colleagues cowered to the whims of an out-of-control wannabe dictator. Cheney appeared to have left no stone unturned in the memoir that hits shelves on Dec. 5, including her takedown of former House Speaker Kevin McCarthy and his successor, Mike Johnson. Of McCarthy, Cheney said he knew Trump lost the 2020 election to President Biden but went along with Trump’s lies. She referred to Johnson as a fanboy who “appeared especially susceptible to flattery from Trump and aspired to being anywhere in Trump’s orbit.” Trump currently faces 91 felony counts in four jurisdictions; much of the charges stem from his alleged attempt to steal the 2020 election. Earlier this year, a civil jury found him responsible for sexually assaulting the writer, E. Jean Carroll. Trump was ordered to pay Carroll $5 million in damages. Despite four indictments, his loss in the sexual assault civil trial, and his promise of retribution against his political enemies, Trump is the frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. Several polls also show him leading Biden in the general election. “As a nation, we can endure damaging policies for a four-year term,” Cheney declared. “But we cannot survive a president willing to terminate our Constitution.” Cheney’s 384-page “Oath and Honor: A Memoir and a Warning” is already the top-selling book on Amazon.com. In one passage, Trump is referred to as “Orange Jesus,” a term regularly used by Black Press journalist Barrington Salmon to deride the former president. Using text messages, emails, calls, and meetings, as well as personal conversations, Cheney rails against her GOP colleagues and reams them for being complicit in threats against democracy. “So strong is the lure of power that men and women who had once seemed reasonable and responsible were suddenly willing to violate their oath to the Constitution out of political expediency and loyalty to Donald Trump,” Cheney writes in the book, which hits shelves on Dec. 5. Cheney unveils a hitherto undisclosed conversation with McCarthy, happening a mere 48 hours after the ballots were cast, where McCarthy spilled the beans that he had a tête-à-tête with Trump. According to the book, McCarthy spilled, “He knows it’s over… He needs to go through all the stages of grief.” Cheney dryly muses that, in Trump’s world, those stages appear to involve “tweeting in all caps.” When McCarthy declared on Fox News that “President Trump won this election,” Cheney notes, “McCarthy knew that what he was saying was not true.” The book further uncovers how other Republicans, like House Judiciary Chairman Jim Jordan, brushed aside legal processes in a GOP conference call, with Jordan underscoring, “The only thing that matters is winning.” Cheney also took shots at Johnson, narrating how he pressed Republicans to back an amicus brief challenging the election result. Despite highlighting flaws in the legal arguments, Johnson reportedly insisted, “We just need to do this one last thing for Trump.” Before Trump’s followers stormed the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, Cheney described a scene in the GOP cloakroom where members signed electoral vote objection sheets, acknowledging that most were aware it was a “farce” and merely a symbolic gesture of allegiance to Trump. Republican Congressman Mark Green reportedly quipped, “The things we do for the Orange Jesus.” Cheney accuses McCarthy of repeated falsehoods and a “craven” embrace of Trump, detailing his post-Jan. 6 visit to Mar-a-Lago. McCarthy claimed Trump’s staff summoned him, citing concerns about Trump’s well-being. Cheney incredulously responded, “You went to Mar-a-Lago because Trump’s not eating?” Cheney revealed her unintentional inclusion in a White House surrogate call on Jan. 4, where Trump allies mapped out plans to overturn the election through Pence. She left with a “terrible feeling,” unsure if Pence would withstand the pressure, disclosing that Paul Ryan also harbored doubts. Despite warnings from her father, former Vice President Dick Cheney, about her safety on Jan. 6, Cheney remained unwavering. She voted for impeachment on Jan. 13, receiving private support from former President George W. Bush, who hailed her courage.
On Tuesday, Dec. 5, Vice President Kamala Harris broke the previous record set by John C. Calhoun in the 19th century for the most tie-breaking votes cast in the U.S. Senate. Harris has now cast 32 tie-breaking votes, eclipsing Calhoun’s record of 31 during his tenure as vice president from 1825 to 1832. The latest tiebreaker occurred during the confirmation of Loren Alikhan as a U.S. District Judge for the District of Columbia. As vice president, Harris serves as the president of the Senate, granting her constitutional authority to break ties. Harris’s accomplishment is noteworthy not only for its historical significance but also in the context of the current political landscape. The U.S. Senate has been narrowly divided throughout the Biden administration, comprising 48 Democrats, 49 Republicans, and three independents. Of the independents, Sens. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and Angus King of Maine caucus with Democrats, while Arizona Sen. Kyrsten Sinema left the Democratic Party in 2022 to register as an independent. The surge in tie-breaking votes contrasts with previous administrations, as former Vice President Mike Pence cast 13 tie-breaking votes, while President Joe Biden did not cast any during his vice presidential tenure in the eight years of the Obama administration. In a speech on the Senate floor earlier this year, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer praised her historic achievement. Schumer emphasized the circumstances of Harris’s tenure, characterized by a closely divided Senate and a highly partisan environment. He acknowledged the weighty responsibility placed on the vice president as president of the Senate, noting that Harris has played a crucial role in passing pivotal legislation. From the American Rescue Plan to the Inflation Reduction Act and the confirmation of federal judges, Schumer commended Harris for her contributions to the functioning of the Senate. “When it’s mattered most, Vice President Harris has provided the decisive vote on some of the most historic bills of modern times,” Schumer asserted. “All of us thank her for making the work of the Senate possible.”
New serving line at Robert Brown Middle School and new walk-in cooler/freezer at Eutaw Primary School
Greene County Primary School and Robert Brown Middle School acquired new cafeteria equipment, a walk-in-cooler/freezer and a new serving line respectively. The new cafeteria equipment was acquired through a grant from the Alabama State Department of Education Child Nutrition Program, applied for by Ms. Shirley Stewart, Child Nutrition Program Director for Greene County Schools.
The grant for the walk-in cooler/freezer for Eutaw Primary totaled $70,066; the grant for the serving line at Robert Brown totaled $26,750.
According to Ms. Stewart, Eutaw Primary never had an appropriate walk-in cooler/freezer. The kitchen area at the school utilized upright freezers and refrigerators. “The staff at Eutaw Primary was so elated to get the walk-in cooler/freezer that the cafeteria manager gave up her office to provide adequate space for the new cooler/freezer,” stated the CNP Director, Ms. Stewart. According to Stewart, the new equipment will provide a better storage solution for the site and the opportunity to always keep emergency food on hand. “ The new equipment will allow purchased foods to remain fresh for longer periods of time,” she stated.
The new serving line at Robert Brown Middle School replaces one that was very old with most of the wells for hot foods not in working order, according to Stewart. She stated that now the cafeteria at RBMS can offer more hot and cold foods for students.
“Fueling the minds of our scholars is the most important part of our job and both schools embody this concept and promote excellence in preparing healthy, appetizing meals for our students,” said Stewart.
On Tuesday, November 21, 2023, the Greene County Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc. provided a Thanksgiving Dinner for families in their service area. The dinners were coordinated through the respective county’s Department of Human Resources (DHR), whose staff selected the recipient families. The Thanksgiving Sharing is an annual service provided by the DST Alumnae Chapter. Schiquetta Burrell and Glenda Hodges serve as Co-Chairpersons of the Chapter’s Thanksgiving Sharing the Senior Citizen Celebration Committee. Loydleetta Wabbington is a committee member. Dr. Florence Williams is Chapter President. Also present at the event were DHR Representatives Keltanishaline Bates, Modesta Smiley and Latonya H. Wooley.
(TriceEdneyWire.com) – Nearly 5.5 million borrowers have applied for the newest federal program for student loan debt relief since it was announced about three months ago. Nearly 3 million borrowers who enrolled in the Saving on a Valuable Education (SAVE) Plan completely eliminated their monthly loan payments. “Under President Biden, the Department created the SAVE Plan so that young people and working families can climb the economic ladder without unaffordable student loan debt weighing them down,” said U.S. Secretary of Education Miguel Cardona. “I’m thrilled to see that in less than three months, nearly 5.5 million Americans in every community across the country are taking advantage of the SAVE Plan’s many benefits, from lower monthly payments to protection from runaway student loan interest.” The bulk of these loan savings benefit students with the greatest financial need – those eligible for federal Pell grants – including Black, Latino, Native American and Alaskan Native borrowers. Most SAVE borrowers will see their lifetime loan repayments cut in half. As long as SAVE participants maintain their regular payments, their loan balances will go down due to the Education Department no longer charging interest. Further, the SAVE program creates lower payment rates for both undergraduate and graduate loans. Required payments for undergraduate loans will be cut in half to five percent from the previous 10 percent. Borrowers who incurred both undergraduate and graduate loans, under SAFE, will now pay a weighted average of the original principal balances on their loans. The payment range for the combination borrowers is from 5-10 percent of income. The $0 payment remains available for borrowers who earn less than $32,800 per year or those in a family of four making less than $67,000. Borrowers earning more than these annual amounts also benefit with an estimated savings of $102 a month ($1,224 a year), compared to earlier income-driven repayment programs. Geographically, every state and congressional district has SAVE participants. California and Texas each have more than 450,000 borrowers enrolled in SAVE, while congressional districts in Missouri, Ohio, and Michigan have the highest identified enrollment. Consumer advocates are emphasizing the program’s targeted reach. For example, this October, the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan research and policy organization noted, “Payment reductions and larger loan forgiveness benefits under the SAVE plan will occur broadly across racial and ethnic groups but are skewed toward programs enrolling more Black and Hispanic students.” Even earlier this year, the Center for Responsible Lending (CRL) stressed to the House Subcommittee on Higher Education and Workforce Development how the escalating costs of higher education surpassed the financial capabilities of many Americans. “Education was sold to working-class families as the great equalizer, giving unlimited opportunity to those who would seize it” wrote CRL. “Yet, according to the Federal Reserve, every $1,000 increase in student loan debt lowers the national homeownership rate by about 1.8 percentage points for public 4-year college students.” “Between 2009 and 2022, median household income grew from $63,011 to $70,784, or about 12 percent,” CRL continued. “Comparatively, the average student loan debt grew nearly 32 percent, from $27,874 to $36,096, during that period.” Student loan borrowers who have financially struggled to keep up with monthly payments may still enroll online at: https://studentaid.gov/announcements-events/save-plan. “The SAVE Plan will significantly cut monthly bills for most borrowers, reduce loan default, and ensure that students loans don’t need to come before life necessities,” said Under Secretary James Kvaal. “With nearly 5.5 million people enrolled after only two months, it’s clear how much borrowers need a plan like SAVE. President Biden and our Administration remain committed to giving borrowers breathing room on their monthly payments and ensuring student loans aren’t a barrier to opportunity.” Charlene Crowell is a senior fellow with the Center for Responsible Lending. She can be reached at Charlene.firstname.lastname@example.org.