Mariel Saez, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today after Republicans' refusal to take bipartisan action resulted in student loan interest rates doubling from 3.4 to 6.8% last week:
“It is disturbing that House Republicans are only interested in shifting the blame for their refusal to compromise – and for its consequences. Democrats are committed to keeping student loan interest rates low, and we have made it clear for months that Congress must act. It was deeply disappointing that Republicans passed a bill in May that they knew would never become law. That bill would make college more expensive by putting in place a system where students would obtain a loan with a specific interest rate, but after the loan agreement is signed, the interest rates on that loan could change each year – leaving students vulnerable to significantly higher rates than they expected. The nonpartisan Congressional Research Service conducted a study that found that House Republicans’ ill-conceived bill would make college even more expensive than if Congress were to do nothing.
“Even more disappointing, Republicans did not make any serious effort before the July 1 deadline to reach even a temporary agreement to keep rates from doubling from 3.4% to 6.8%. Now, that deadline has passed. The House Republican bill is not a realistic solution, and it will make higher education less accessible. We need to reach agreement on a bipartisan compromise that keeps college affordable, and I call on Speaker Boehner and House Republicans to work with Democrats to achieve this goal.”