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Foster: Congress Must Act To Stop Student Loan Interest Rate Increase

Jun 14, 2013
Press Release
Calls on House Republican Leadership To Allow Vote on Legislation To Prevent Student Loan Rates From Doubling

Washington, D.C. – Today, Congressman Bill Foster is calling on Congress to take action to stop the student loan interest rate increase.  If no action is taken, student loan interest will double on July 1st, jumping from 3.4% to 6.8% for federally subsidized student loans.  Reports have shown that growing student debt is having negative effects on the economy, including delayed home ownership.   Congressman Foster is calling on House Republican Leadership to allow a vote on legislation to stop this rate increase.

To force action on the issue, Foster has signed a discharge petition to bring up H.R. 1595, the Student Loan Relief Act of 2013—legislation that would freeze student loan rates at 3.4% for the next two years. A discharge petition is a mechanism to avoid leadership gridlock in Congress by requiring the House to consider the legislation once a majority of Members of Congress (218) have signed it.

“Providing a competitive, world-class education to our children is essential to our country’s future economic growth,” said Foster. “We have some of the best educational opportunities in the world in the US, but we must ensure that they are not financially out of reach to our students. That is why I am calling on Congress to take action to stop the doubling of student loan interest rates on July 1st.”

Representatives are launching this discharge petition to force Republican Leadership to move forward on this broadly supported language.  Congressman Foster is a cosponsor of the Student Loan Relief Act which was introduced on April 17, 2013 and has over 150 cosponsors, but House Republicans have failed to schedule a vote on the bill.

On May 23, Congressman Foster voted against Republican legislation that would have raised interest rates for federal student loans and cost students nearly $2,000 more in interest than if rates doubled and increase student loan debt by almost $4 billion.  Republicans have offered no proposal to avoid an interest rate increase.