Mr. COURTNEY. Mr. Speaker, in 19 days, unless Congress acts, the subsidized Stafford student loan program interest rate is going to double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. Six years ago, we cut that rate from 6.8 percent to 3.4 percent.
So far, the House Republican majority has issued a bill which the Congressional Budget Office yesterday determined would actually be worse than if we did nothing and allowed the rate to double to 6.8 percent. It would add $4 billion in added higher interest rate costs to students. The Senate Republican bill would add $16 billion in interest costs, from the Congressional Budget Office.
It is obvious what we must do. We must pass H.R. 1595, my bill, which has 150 cosponsors, and extend the lower rate of 3.4 percent. It obtained 51 votes in the Senate. Last time I checked, that's a majority.
It's time to stand up for college students and families all across America, protect the lower interest rates, and get off this kick that a variable rate somehow is a solution to the problem. CBO told us yesterday it's not. It's worse than doing nothing.