Today, Congressman Sanford D. Bishop, Jr. (GA-02) took action to force an up-or-down vote by signing a discharge petition to bring up a bill he has cosponsored, H.R. 1595: the Student Loan Relief Act of 2013. The bill would freeze the interest rate on these loans at 3.4% for the next two years, giving Congress time to enact comprehensive student loan reform as part of a reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.
"As many of the new jobs of the next decade will require further education, it is an economic necessity that higher education remains an accessible opportunity for every student," said Congressman Bishop. "Already, too many students across the nation are burdened with rising loan debt, one of the largest hurdles of the education process. With student loan rates set to double in less than a month, we simply cannot afford to wait any longer."
In an effort to keep college loans affordable for our nation's students, Congressman Bishop has already signed on as a co-sponsor of the Student Loan Relief Act of 2013. If this bill is not passed, the interest rate will double to 6.8% on July 1, 2013 due to the expiration of the College Cost Reduction and Access Act enacted in 2007 and extended for one year in 2012. The 2007 legislation overhauled federal student aid programs by reducing interest rates on the popular Stafford loan program, which help undergraduate and graduate students pay for their education.
The Student Loan Relief Act of 2013 currently has 154 cosponsors, including Congressman Bishop. A discharge petition requires the House of Representatives to consider specific legislation once a majority of Members of Congress (218) have signed the petition.