Editorials Back Student Loan Bill Passed By House, Call On Senate To Act Before July 1 Deadline

June 24, 2013

Bellefonte, Pa. – More than a month ago, the House of Representatives passed H.R. 1911, the Smarter Solutions for Students Act, a bill based on the President’s 2014 budget request that would provide a market-based interest rate for federal student loans. With less than a week before student loan rates jump from 3.4% to 6.8%, the Senate has failed to pass a bill that would address the issue. Over the past week, editorial boards from across the country have lauded the House-passed bill and called on the Senate to act before the July 1, 2013 deadline. 

In Case You Missed It:

  • USA Today  (6/21/2013) Our View: Let markets set student loan interest rates: “Interest rates should not be subject to political gamesmanship and brinkmanship every time they are about to rise. …The existing system features a bewildering assortment of interest rates on loans, all of which are set by Washington and not by markets. Both Obama and the House Republicans wisely call for letting the rates on all types of loans float, setting them a few points above the rate on a 10-year U.S. Treasury bond. To protect taxpayers, there are good reasons to tie interest rates to market conditions, rather than congressional whims...” (USA Today, 6/21/13)
  • The Boston Globe (6/21/2013) New student-loan formula could end annual dance in Congress: “A bipartisan deal to find a market-based fix would be preferable to what happened last June, when the decision was simply pushed off by a year. The best answer may require some give-and-take. The first priority should go to taking control of rates out of the hands of Congress. Pegging interest to a market rate — for instance, the 10-year Treasury note, as President Obama and House Republicans have proposed — would prevent what has become a frustrating annual standoff... Students need more certainty. Only a market-based rate will provide that assurance — and a long-term solution to a complex debate." (The Boston Globe, 6/21/13)
  • Los Angeles Times (6/21/2013) Congress should act now on student loans: “Republicans are backing a long-term solution that’s similar to one President Obama proposed in his latest budget. … As much as Congress needs to address the bigger picture, there’s no reason not to enact a long-term solution on interest rates now. … [A]s the administration acknowledged earlier this year, tying interest rates to the federal government’s low cost of borrowing is the right way to go. The Senate should pass its own version of the president’s proposal, then work out the differences with the House without delay.” (Los Angeles Times, 6/21/13)