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Capps Pushes House Majority Leader to Bring Responsible Legislation Forward to Halt Looming College Student Loan Rate Increase
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Lois Capps issued (CA-23) the following statement in response to Majority Leader Eric Cantor’s decision to not include legislation preventing student interest rates from doubling on the House’s summer legislative schedule. If Congress does not act by July 1st, need-based Stafford Loan interest rates will double to 6.8 percent and affect over 570,000 students in California.
It’s extremely disappointing that the Majority Leader has not included legislation to prevent student loan interest rates from doubling on the House’s summer schedule,” said Congresswoman Capps. “Five years ago, I helped pass into law bipartisan legislation to cut the student loan interest rate. We did it because we knew then, as we know now, that a well-educated, well-trained work force is vital to our kids’ future and our country’s economic success. The House needs to act right away - in a bipartisan manner - to help stop the skyrocketing costs of college by passing responsible legislation to halt this looming increase in student loan rates.”
Below is the text of a letter she and several of her colleagues sent to the Majority Leader urging a vote on legislation to halt the interest rate hike before the end of the month:
Dear Majority Leader Cantor:
We took note that your recent memorandum outlining the House’s “summer legislative agenda” did not include any reference to the doubling of need-based Stafford Loan interest rates that will take effect on July 1. This is deeply disappointing, as we believe millions of middle-class students and their families should have the certainty of knowing that the House will act this month to stop the doubling of this interest rate.
It was unfortunate that, rather than proceed in a bipartisan manner to prevent this interest rate from doubling, the House approved an unnecessarily political and deeply-flawed bill that will not be considered by the Senate and that has garnered a veto threat by the White House. In order to stop the interest rates for over 7 million students – roughly one out of every three college students in the country – from going up, it is clear the House will need to act again.
As such, we were concerned that this critical issue impacting millions of middle-class students and families was not even mentioned in your recent memorandum detailing the House’s “summer legislative agenda.”
Moreover, while you joined Speaker Boehner last week in publicly sending a letter to the President purporting to show an interest in further negotiations on the student loan issue, that same day it was reported that Speaker Boehner privately called the issue a “phony” fight and said it was unlikely that Congress would prevent an interest rate hike before July 1.
We trust you can confirm that the omission of student loan interest rate relief from your “summer legislative agenda” was an oversight on your part and that you share our commitment to bringing responsible legislation to the House floor in the coming weeks that will prevent interest rates from doubling.
Thank you for your attention and your anticipated response.