Mr. COURTNEY. Mr. Speaker, in 29 days, the interest rate for the Stafford student loan program is going to increase from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. This will add thousands of dollars of additional debt costs for middle class students all across America.
Yesterday, The Christian Science Monitor reported that Speaker Boehner called this issue a phony issue and a distraction from the real issues. There is nothing phony about adding thousands of dollars of added debt to middle class students. There is nothing phony about the Federal Reserve Board report that came out yesterday that showed that student loan debt increased by $30 billion in the first quarter of this year, surpassing credit card debt. The only thing, frankly, that is a pretense around here is the work schedule: in this week, only 1 full day, 2 part-time days, and 40 days for the next 5 months.
It is time for us to get to work in this Chamber and to fix problems like the Stafford student loan interest rate.