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Jill Biden Acknowledges Her Signature Legislative Initiative Is Dead

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

First lady Jill Biden acknowledged in a speech on Monday that her signature legislative initiative will not be included in Democrats’ spending bill. 

“One year ago, I told this group that Joe, my husband Joe, was going to fight for community colleges,” she said at a summit of community college leaders. “But Joe has also had to make compromises. Congress hasn’t passed the Build Back Better legislation — yet. And free community college is no longer a part of that package.”


Last year, President Biden said the first lady would work to fulfill his promise of offering eligible students two years of community college for free. But Monday’s speech was the surest sign yet that “a measure she had championed is dead,” The New York Times reports.

“We knew this wouldn’t be easy,” the first lady said. “Still, like you, I was disappointed. Because, like you, these aren’t just bills or budgets to me, to you, right? We know what they mean for real people, for our students.”

President Biden has been signaling for months that the measure would likely not be included in Democrats' spending bill. 

“There’s two really big components that I feel strongly about that I’m not sure I can get in the package,” Biden said last month about the revised package. “One is the child care tax credit, and the other is help for cost of community colleges.”


Though it's a major blow to the first lady, a community college English professor, she said her husband will continue to look for opportunities to include community college benefits into future measures.

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