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Smarter Solutions for Students Act

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. CICILLINE. Mr. Speaker, I thank the gentleman for yielding.

I rise in strong opposition to the Republican Making College More Expensive Act that we're considering today. Market-based systems will drive up the cost for millions of middle class families but will, of course, also benefit some of our biggest banks and other financial institutions.

If we want to get our country back on the right track, put men and women back to work and ensure that we remain competitive in the global economy, we have to do more to make higher education more accessible and more affordable, not more expensive.
Without Congressional action, the interest rate on Federal subsidized Stafford loans is scheduled to increase from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent for more than 7 million students. We should not be making a profit on student loans--period.

We have proposals that will end this practice and give students access to college at the lowest cost possible. Unlike this bill, the Student Loan Relief Act, the Responsible Student Loan Solutions Act, and the Bank on Students Loan Fairness Act would each preserve low interest rates for students.

The bill before us today is a bad Republican idea that will make college more expensive for working families and will benefit some of America's largest financial institutions who will earn billions more in student loan interest. Hidden within this bill is a blatant bait-and-switch scheme that will allow students to borrow money at one rate before the interest rates skyrocket.

Let's reject the Making College More Expensive Act and find a serious, long-term solution on student loans that will make college more affordable for millions and millions of American students.

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Mr. CICILLINE. Mr. Speaker, I rise in strong opposition to the Making College More Expensive Act that we are considering today. If we are serious about getting our country back on the right track, putting people back to work, and ensuring that we remain competitive in the global economy, we have to do more to make higher education more accessible and more affordable, not more expensive. Without Congressional action, the interest rate on federal subsidized Stafford loans is scheduled to increase from 3.4% to 6.8% for more than seven million students.

The United States Government should not be making a profit on student loans. Period.

And there are several proposals pending before the House today that would give students access to college at the lowest cost possible. Unlike this bill, the Student Loan Relief Act, the Responsible Student Loan Solutions Act, and the Bank on Students Loan Fairness Act would each preserve low interest rates for students. But the bill before us today is a bad Republican idea that will make college more expensive for working families. This bill before us today will make college more expensive to millions of Americans.

According to the independent, non-partisan Congressional Research Service, students with five years of subsidized Stafford loans borrowed at the maximum amount would owe $4,174 in interest under current rate and $8,808 if we allow interest rates to double on July 1st. But under this proposal, students would owe a total of $10,109 in interest payments on their loans.

Hidden within this bill is a blatant bait and switch scheme that will allow students to borrow money at one rate before their interest rates skyrocket. Our friends on the other side of the aisle like to claim that putting student loans into the ``marketplace'' is a cure-all for increased student debt. But in this case, ``marketplace'' is code for billions of more dollars in interest payments as this bill would prevent students from enjoying the lowest available interest rates.

Let's reject the Making College More Expensive Act and find a serious long-term solution on student loans thathttp://thomas.loc.gov will make college more affordable for millions of Americans.

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