Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013by Representative Gene Green
Posted on 2013-07-31
GREEN of Texas. Mr. Speaker, I rise today to express my
opposition to the Motion to Concur in the Senate Amendment to H.R.
1911, the Smarter Solutions for Students Act.
This bill returns federal student loans to a system of market-based variable rates, an imprudent policy that seeks profits for deficit reduction at the expense of students struggling with the substantial and climbing cost of post-secondary education.
While the bill may appear to reverse the interest rate hike that occurred on July 1, setting rates at 3.8 percent for this year and 4.6 percent for next year for undergraduate Stafford student loan borrowers, it is essentially a bait and switch that will pile extra debt onto students when the current record-low rates inevitably rise.
This is unacceptable. Student loan debt is a major drag on the American economy, reaching $1 trillion and climbing, and recently surpassing credit card debt as the largest form of consumer debt. Approximately 60 percent of students take out loans to attend college, and increasing the costs of borrowing will prevent millions from being able to pursue higher education.
While the interest rate caps are a step in the right direction, they are too high to meaningfully protect students when the temporarily low rates give way to rates that are even higher than the 6.8 percent rate this bill attempts to fix.
College educated students are the future engine of our country, and anyone who wants to pursue a post-secondary education should have the opportunity to do so without going into crushing debt. I urge my colleagues to vote against this legislation and instead, extend the current interest rate of 3.4 percent until Congress enacts a true long- term solution to the cost of college that is worthy of our Nation's young people.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the motion offered by the gentleman from Minnesota (Mr. Kline) that the House suspend the rules and concur in the Senate amendment to the bill, H.R. 1911.
The question was taken.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. In the opinion of the Chair, two-thirds being in the affirmative, the ayes have it.
Mr. GEORGE MILLER of California. Mr. Speaker, on that I demand the yeas and nays.
The yeas and nays were ordered.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX, further proceedings on this motion will be postponed.