April 27, 2004
For Immediate Release
Senator John Kerry today issued the following statement in response to news reports that House Republicans will propose eliminating certain excessive subsidies for banks making student loans and also students' right to consolidate student loans at fixed rates:
"As House Republicans have begun to tackle the excessive subsidies for banks making student loans, they continue to defend big banks while heaping new burdens on students who already face heavy debt burdens. According to today's news report, House Republicans continue to press a proposal, made previously by President Bush, that would eliminate the right of students to consolidate their student loans at fixed rates. This proposal would leave thousands of struggling students with thousands of dollars in higher interest payments on their student loans. This will do a great service to lenders, but cause great harm to students.
"In addition, the House Republicans have not gone far enough to eliminate excessive subsidies for banks in the student loan system. While closing some loopholes in current law, the House proposal would still leave Congress in the business of fixing excessive profits for banks. That's wrong. I believe in free markets, and I believe Congress shouldn't be setting profits for banks. We need a market-based auction where banks get student loan business based on their ability to offer the best service at the lowest price."