Ms. KAPTUR. Mr. Speaker, right now, student loan debt is higher than credit card debt for the first time in history. College costs are growing each year, forcing students to take out more loans to get the same education--an education that gives them the keys to the American middle class. And the Republican's response? Play political games that could result in interest rate hikes from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on July 1 for student loans, affecting over 7 million students, making the average graduate pay an additional $1,000 in interest payments each year if rates are allowed to double. Ohio students alone will end up paying nearly $300 million in extra interest payments over the next year.
Recent graduates have high unemployment rates and are the least prepared to deal with these increased payments. But House Republicans are content to plunge them deeper into debt while instead fighting for more tax breaks for millionaires, many of whom pay lower rates than the middle class.
It's time for Republicans to come to the table and compromise. It seems logical that Congress would not stand in the way of making college more affordable by doubling the interest rates of college loans, but the Republican Party in this House is not acting logically. What a crying shame.