- The Washington Times - Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Two years of free community college is crucial for the security of the United States, according to Rep. Charles Rangel.

In a TellDC video posted on YouTube, the New York Democrat said President Obama’s recommendation for two years of free college is “really so important to the security of the United States of America.”

“Even though we are very pleased with the economic growth that we have, no one can deny that our middle class is hurting and it’s very difficult for them to make ends meet on their salaries,” Mr. Rangel explained. “The cost of living has shot up, but the disparity between the rich and the poor is something we have to overcome. Education — just as the G.I. Bill did it — is the only answer to close this gap.

“Now that we’re talking about the Trans-Pacific Partnership and Transatlantic Investment trade bills, now more than ever, we have to make certain that we have our people, and especially our young people, trained to accept these international challenges,” he said. “So it’s not just the two years in tuition. It should be part of the trade bill to build America up in technology so that we’ll have the skills to meet the challenges.”

President Obama unveiled his plan for two years of free community college Tuesday night during his State of the Union address. The proposal is expected to cost $60 billion over 10 years from the federal government alone, Campus Reform reported.

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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