Providing for Consideration of H.R. 1911, Smarter Solutions for Students Actby Representative Sheila Jackson Lee
Posted on 2013-05-23
JACKSON LEE asked and was given permission to revise and extend
Ms. JACKSON LEE. I thank the gentlelady from New York and the
gentlelady from North Carolina. I thank the gentlelady from New York
for her persistent leadership on this issue.
I rise today to first ask the question how you can have legislation that sounds positive, but in actuality literally puts the education system of America upside down.
First, let me tell you how frustrated Americans are as they see the drip, drip, dripping of the sequester; and I join the gentlelady in her frustration on why we have not gone to budget reconciliation. I just want to mention the pathway of education so we can see that families are being pounded upon. Sequestration is causing 70,000 children to lose Head Start and Early Head Start. And, unfortunately, 950,000 military children will lose teachers. I live in a State where we have a lot of military bases.
So when I rise today to oppose H.R. 1911, I rise with a high degree of overwhelming frustration for the people who live in my State. I am sorry that this rule did not accept an amendment that I had that would have submitted a report to Congress on the feasibility of offering loan forgiveness for those who put businesses in economically depressed areas. That truly provides for jobs.
But then the real thing is to cap the interest rates at 4 percent. As was indicated by my colleague, Mr. Holt, he indicated how the numbers would go up for the students. Well, let me talk to you about Parent PLUS. Now, you can really see the oppression on parents who are trying to help their children go to school. In addition to the $100 billion of debt that students are carrying, we now eliminate the feasibility of Parent PLUS loans. Right now in current law, they're $27,956. But if we go into this bill, they'll go up to almost $36,000. Imagine a parent with four children.
I've spoken in the last couple of weeks at the University of Houston- Downtown, the University of Houston, Texas Southern University, Houston Community College. I've spoken at Lone Star colleges, all of these colleges in our districts, St. Thomas.
The SPEAKER pro tempore. The time of the gentlewoman has expired.