Rep. Tom Reed is leading a bipartisan letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell calling on the Senate to act to avoid the July 1st student loan interest rate hike. Without action from the Senate, millions of students can expect their loan interest rate to double to 6.8 percent. More than 50 Members of Congress are joining Reed in pressing the Senate to act immediately.
"Our letter is a call to action for the Senate to pass legislation to lower student loan interest rates long term and avoid the July 1st interest rate spike," Reed said. "The House being the only body to pass a bipartisan proposal, Republican and Democrat Members in the House are asking the Senate to move to pass legislation immediately so that we can work together to prevent the July 1st rate spike. Now is the time to take care of our students and lower their loan rates. Now is the time for the Senate to act."
More than 50 Members of Congress signed onto Reed's letter, including all of the Democrat Members who voted in favor of the House-passed bill.
With two failed votes in the Senate on its own proposals, Reed said he hopes their lack of solution is not a sign the Senate will move on without a fix. "The clock is ticking and we stand ready to work with our Senate colleagues on both sides of the aisle to make sure students do not see their rates double in less than two weeks. Let's stop kicking the can down the road and get our students the long-term, fair fix they deserve."
Reed voted to lower student loan interest rates in the House's bipartisan Smarter Solutions for Students Act passed last month. The bill would lower rates long-term and avoid the July 1st student loan interest rate hike where rates are set to double to 6.8 percent. The bill also moves student loans to a market-based rate -- a policy proposed by the President in his 2014 Budget.
"It is only fair we adopt policies that take setting student loan interest rates out of the hands of politicians," Reed continued. "Utilizing a market-based approach not only makes sense but reaffirms to students that they will not have to play this waiting game next year. It is just not fair to put students in this position."
"Our priority needs to be preventing the July 1st spike mandated by law if Congress does not act. Since we all agree student loan rates should not go up, we're showing students we care by pressing the Senate to pass policy before the end of the month. We need to Senate to come to the negotiating table."