Republicans Led By John Kline (R-MN) Voted Down Elizabeth Warren's Plan To Lower Student Interest Rates
After watching him as a freshman senator, I never believed Obama would be a vehicle for Hope and Change. I voted for him in 2008 anyway. I couldn't force myself to do it again last November. Elizabeth Warren, on the other hand, is someone who I have actually bought into right from the start. I donated to her campaign and helped promote her cause. This week, her first proposed legislation has made me-- and thousands of others across the country who backed her-- proud. The Bank on Students Loan Fairness Act would lower student loan interest rates for one year from 3.4% to 0.75% -- the same rate the government loans money to the banks through the Federal Reserve discount window. As Senator Warren reminds us in the video above, student loan interest rates will double to 6.8% on July 1st without action.
John Tierney (D-MA) introduced a sister bill in the House. As Warren and Tierney have told their colleagues in both houses of Congress, "The biggest banks in the country-- the ones that wrecked our economy and cost millions of Americans their jobs-- pay next to nothing on their debt, while students pay nine times as much. The Bank on Students Loan Fairness Act lets students take advantage of the same low interest rates offered to banks through the Federal Reserve discount window:
• Funded by the Federal Reserve, Administered by the Department of Education. The Federal Reserve would make funds available to the Department of Education to make these loans. While the Federal Reserve would now provide funding, the Department of Education would continue to administer all other aspects of the federal subsidized Stafford loan program in the same manner as it currently does.
• Tom Petri (R-WI)
• Buck McKeon (R-CA)
• Joe Wilson (R-SC)
• Virginia Foxx (R-NC)
• Tom Price (R-GA)
• Kenny Marchant (R-TX)
• Duncan Hunter (R-Betty Ford Clinic)
• Phil Roe (R-TN)
• Glenn Thompson (R-PA)
• Tim Walberg (R-MI)
• Matt Salmon (R-AZ)
• Brett Guthrie (R-KY)
• Scott DesJarlais (R-TN)
• Todd Rokita (R-IN)
• Larry Bucshon (R-IN)
• Joe Heck (R-NV)
• Susan Brooks (R-IN)
• Richard Hudson (R-NC)
• Luke Messer (R-IN)
• Jared Polis (New Dem-CO)
"Making sure students can afford to go to college means a better-trained workforce that not only attracts more businesses, but ensures our country is competing globally. Making it harder for families to afford college is downright bad for the economy.
"Unfortunately, Kline chairs the committee where good bills go to die."
"Our students and families deserve better than this bait-and-switch scheme we're voting on today," said California Representative George Miller, the senior Democrat on the committee.
"A low-income, four-year borrower enrolling in college next year would pay more interest on her student loans under the Republican proposal than she would if we took no action," he said.
The non-partisan Congressional Research Service estimates that under the Republican plan, a student who borrows the maximum amount of subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford loans over five years would pay $14,430 in interest. If rates were allowed to double on July 1, a student would pay $12,598, compared with $7,965 if rates don't double.
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