Congressman G. K. Butterfield (D-N.C.) today urged his congressional colleagues to support President Barack Obama's efforts to help further relieve student loan costs for millions of college graduates nationwide. Butterfield said that the president's proposal, which seeks to cap student loan payments at 10 percent of discretionary income, forgive outstanding debt after 20 years of payment and offer student borrower new opportunities to consolidate their student loans, would help North Carolinians who are experiencing record increases in the cost of higher education.
"In North Carolina the cost of tuition at schools in the state university system has jumped an average of 8.2 percent," said Butterfield. "Job creation and salaries are not keeping pace with growing tuition costs, which could deter people from seeking post-secondary education and exacerbate the unemployment rate. Although Congress has passed legislation to provide relief to student loan holders, Congress should do more to ensure Americans continue to pursue careers that will make them competitive in the global workforce. "
Earlier this year, Butterfield, a consistent advocate of job creation and education, met with staff and administrators from Edgecombe, Halifax and Vance-Greenville community colleges, as well as regional employment partners to discuss the challenges in educating the region's workforce. In April, Butterfield voted against a Republican budget resolution, which cut college aid for nearly 10 million students and slashed the maximum Pell Grant award by more than 45 percent.