House Passes Legislation to Avert Student Loan Rate Hike (Video)

May 23, 2013 Issues: Education

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Representative Glenn ‘GT’ Thompson today voted to support H.R. 1991, the Smarter Solutions for Students Act, a bill to prevent the student loan interest rate increase scheduled for July 1, 2013, and set all new student loans, except Perkins loans, to a market-based system. Loan rates would be calculated using the 10-year Treasury note plus 2.5 percent, reset once a year, and capped during higher rate environments. Thompson delivered the following remarks during floor debate before the bill passed the House by a vote of 221-198

“Absent congressional action, interest rates on student loans will double from 3.4 to 6.8% on July 1st. We need both parties and both chambers working on solutions now – we can’t afford more last minute back rooms deals and political brinksmanship.

“This bill prevents the rate hike from happening and ends what has become an annual debate within Congress on how to set the rates for student loans.

“This bill puts in place a rate system that is more predictable and affordable, and it builds on a proposal put forward by President Obama in his Fiscal Year 2014 budget request. Similar to the President’s proposal, it moves the student loan rats to a market-based interest rate – not one set by politicians in Washington.  

“We have a responsibility to America’s youth to put forward a long term plan for college affordability. The bill is good first step and will offer students the lowest possible cost for higher education while ensuring the solvency of these important loan programs.

“I encourage my colleagues to join in support of this bill.  I yield back.”