Mrs. CAPPS. Mr. Speaker, we all know if Congress doesn't come together soon, interest rates on student loans will double on July 1. Rates will go from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent.
Right now in our country, student loan debt is higher than credit card debt. This is a huge challenge and barrier facing students, their families and our economy. We cannot have our graduates leaving school with crushing debt. It limits the careers they can pursue, and we certainly don't want young people shying away from continuing their education because they know they'll never be able to afford it. We must keep open the doors of opportunity for all and, in the process, produce a well-educated workforce that's going to grow our economy.
But, if Congress doesn't act soon, more than 7 million low- and middle-income students nationwide will be required to pay more for their student loans. This would mean adding thousands of dollars to a college bill, and that's why I am a proud supporter of legislation to address this issue. I support ending some of the lavish subsidies we give to extraordinarily profitable oil companies and using that money to keep student loan rates from doubling and, at the same time, reducing our deficit by billions of dollars.
We must get our priorities straight. We should be investing in our students and bringing down our deficit instead of handing over taxpayer dollars to some of the richest corporations in the world. I urge my colleagues to join in this effort.