Congressman Dale E. Kildee (D-MI), a senior member of the House Education and Workforce Committee, released the following statement today after the House of Representatives approved a last-minute extension of student loan interest rates. The current rate of 3.4 percent was scheduled to double on July 1, 2012 without congressional action. The student loan extension was included in the bipartisan highway bill.
"While I am relieved that we finally have a bipartisan and bicameral solution to the student loan issue, I am frustrated that the House Republicans waited until the 11th hour to bring a one year extension to the House floor. Although I support the extension, I am disappointed that students will have less time to pay back their student loans under this bill.
Today's vote will prevent a massive increase on July 1st in federal student loan rates, which would have doubled the cost of loans for more than 300,000 Michigan college students. The average savings for Michigan students under this legislation is $976 a student.
Congress would not have approved this extension today if it wasn't for the students and families that kept this issue front and center. As our economy continues to recover, the last thing students and families needed was another thousand dollars of student loan debt. We should be making college more affordable, not less affordable."