Jill Biden Says Free College Cut From Bill Because It's 'Not the Right Moment for It'

First Lady Jill Biden said that it's not the right time to make community college free.

In an interview with CBS Sunday Morning scheduled to air next week, she discussed the challenges she has faced as first lady and why she isn't surprised that the measure was cut from a major social welfare bill.

"I understand compromise," she said, "and I knew this was not the right moment for it."

Newsweek previously reported that the addition of free community college in the bill was cut in order to appease a larger group of lawmakers. The proposal had come under fire from both Republicans and some Democrats because of the amount of money allocated to it. Eldercare and a new child tax credit was also cut from the bill.

Biden has taught in community colleges for decades and still teaches classes as First Lady. She is not giving up hope that free community college will eventually become a reality, as she continues to advocate for it. This sentiment is shared by her husband, President Joe Biden, who said during a CNN Town Hall in October that free community college will come to the United States. However, it might not be soon.

"I promise you—I guarantee you—we're going to get free community college in the next several years and across the board," the president said.

Jill Biden Christmas Ceremony
Jill Biden said she understood why free community college was cut from a major social welfare bill. The first lady listens as U.S. President Joe Biden delivers remarks at the 2021 National Christmas Tree ceremony on the Ellipse on December 2 in Washington, D.C. Photo by Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images

The interview also revealed that Biden said being the First Lady "is a little harder than I imagined."

According to the interview, her new role is a 24-hour undertaking and not the kind of job that ends at a certain hour.

"I think it's a little harder than I imagined," the first lady said after being asked if she was prepared for what her new life would be like. "It's not like a job that you do, it's a lifestyle that you live, and it's not something you leave at 5:00 or at 3:00. And it's 24 hours a day."

In the interview, Jill Biden also scoffed at speculation about her husband's mental fitness.

Her observation about being first lady all the time comes from someone who has lived most of her adult life in the public eye and has watched—and worked with—some of her predecessors.

Joe Biden was already a public figure, a U.S. senator from Delaware, when they married in 1977. Jill Biden campaigned for and with him during his many Senate re-election bids and his three campaigns for president. When Joe Biden was vice president to President Barack Obama, Jill Biden and First Lady Michelle Obama worked closely together on military family issues.

The president, the oldest officeholder at age 79, has been the subject of unrelenting social media memes and comments from political opponents suggesting he is mentally unfit for office.

His wife, who is 70, said polls questioning his mental fitness are "ridiculous."

President Biden joined a portion of the interview at the White House and was asked about sharing the experience with his wife of 44 years.

"I'm a lucky man," he said. "Jill is the life of my love and the love of my life."

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

The Bidens Leaving Marine One
Jill Biden also scoffed at reports that her husband is mentally unfit for holding the office of president. President Joe Biden and Jill arrive at the White House on Marine One on December 5 in Washington, as they return from Camp David, Maryland. AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

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