WASHINGTON (CNN) - The House of Representatives on Thursday passed a bill that would overhaul the student loan system by ending a government-subsidized program for private lenders to provide college loans.
The House voted 253-171 for the bill that, if also passed by the Senate and signed into law, would effectively end the role of private lenders in making student loans. Instead, the government would become the sole direct lender for student loans.
The non-partisan Congressional Budget Office said the bill would save more than $80 billion over 10 years by halting the subsidies to private
The House bill includes increased spending for Pell Grants for low- and middle-income students, as well as more money for community colleges, early-learning programs, school renovations, and colleges and universities that historically serve minorities.
Supporters hailed the measure as a key component of President Barack Obama's goal to make colleges and universities more accessible for all
Americans, especially those from low- and middle-income families.
"Today we have the chance to make the single largest investment in grant aid and other benefits to help more students graduate with less debt … while also cutting entitlement spending by $10 billion over 10 years," said Rep. George Miller, D-California, in introducing the measure.
Opponents called the bill a government takeover of the student loan system that would result in job cuts by lending institutions and reduced
choices for students seeking loans.
–CNN's Deirdre Walsh contributed to this story.