A picture of Representative Louise McIntosh Slaughter
Louise S.
Democrat NY 25

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  • Providing for Consideration of H.R. 1911, Smarter Solutions for Students Act

    by Representative Louise McIntosh Slaughter

    Posted on 2013-05-23

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    SLAUGHTER. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentlelady from North Carolina for yielding me the customary 30 minutes, and I yield myself such time as I may consume.



    On July 1, interest rates on federally subsidized Stafford student loans will double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. At a time, as everybody said this morning, when job prospects for students remain few and far between, we must not--or should not--let student loan interest rates rise.

    That is why it's so disappointing that instead of helping the college students, the majority is doing ``go-nowhere'' legislation--because the Senate will not take this up--that would actually increase loan costs for the Nation's students.

    According to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, a student who borrows the maximum subsidized Stafford loans for each of the next 4 years would actually pay $1,056 more under the majority's plan than they would if Congress failed to act and interest rates doubled. That's a rather sobering idea.

    This is just the latest example of putting politics and special interests ahead of the American people. As we speak, the majority is preventing a budget from being finalized even though they have been calling for a budget for years.

    Currently, both the House and the Senate have passed the budget resolutions, which means the only step left--and everybody who knows how a bill is passed knows this--the only step left is to organize a conference committee to finalize the conference report; yet the majority of the House refuses to appoint conferees and begin the conference process.

    Now, why is the majority suddenly abandoning their quest to produce a budget? Is it because their desire for a budget is nothing more than to make political points? It is clear the majority is consistently choosing to put political interests before the welfare of the Nation, even if it means that the American people will and are suffering. This obstructionism must come to an end.

    I urge my colleagues, once again, to reject today's rule and the underlying legislation that will never go past the House so that we can get busy solving the American student loan debt crisis in a bipartisan way. Let's protect our Nation's students from a doubling of student loan interest rates and work together to craft a solution that will end the growing mountain of student debt and ensure college is more affordable for our Nation's students. Our Nation's future depends on it.

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