Today, Congressman Joe Donnelly voted for the Interest Rate Reduction Act, H.R. 4628, which would prevent the rate from doubling on July 1 by keeping the need-based federal student loan at its current level, 3.4%, through June 30, 2013. Taking action to stop the doubling of these rates would save more than 200,000 Hoosier students on average $1,000, each year, over the life of their loans.
Donnelly would have preferred an alternate version of the bill, The Stop the Rate Hike Act of 2012, H.R. 4816, which would also prevent the need-based student loan interest rate from doubling for one year, and offset it by eliminating certain tax breaks for big oil and gas companies. Donnelly is a co-sponsor of this legislation.
"Hoosier college graduates should not be burdened with unmanageable debt from their investment in their education," said Donnelly. "Today, I voted to stand with students to ensure the future competitiveness of our workforce and economy. In a still-difficult economic time, it is vital to ensure that need-based student loan rates remain low."
Donnelly has consistently voted to keep student loan interest rates low, initially voting in 2007 to cut the interest rate from 6.8% to 3.4%.
The Interest Rate Reduction Act passed the House with a vote of 215 to 195. It will now go to the Senate for consideration.