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Providing for Consideration of H.R. 1911, Smarter Solutions for Students Act

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. ANDREWS. Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend from New York for giving me the time.

We approach July 1 with a problem where if the Congress does nothing, interest rates will double on student loans from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. There are three options that are before the country and before the Congress. The first is to just let it happen, to let the rates go up to 6.8 percent and make higher education less affordable for people in the country.

The second option is the option that's on the floor which will make it worse, to raise the interest rates over the long term higher than 6.8 percent, and cost students and families an additional $3.7 billion to pay for a higher education.

There is a third option offered by Mr. Courtney from Connecticut. That option would say let's leave the rates at 3.4 percent for 2 years, let's pay for that decision so it doesn't add to the deficit, and then use those 2 years to negotiate a sensible, long-term solution to the problem.

Now I know that there are those who disagree with Mr. Courtney's approach. I know there are those who agree with the Republican approach. But what I don't understand is why all three options aren't before the Congress.

See, what we have in front of us today is to either do nothing and let the rates go to 6.8, or do something and make them go even higher. There's a third and better choice that the majority has refused to let the Congress vote on. I suspect the reason we can't vote on that choice is it would win. It would prevail.

This is supposed to be a body where a majority rules. Instead, it's a body where paralysis rules. This bill will probably pass the floor.

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Mr. ANDREWS. I thank my friend.

This bill will probably pass the floor. It will go nowhere, and we will be back sometime in late June trying to solve this problem.

Let's have a democratic vote with a small D. Let's let the House vote on all the options, and I believe Mr. Courtney's option to leave the rates at 3.4 percent would and should prevail.

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