Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement after signing a bipartisan letter to U.S. Senate Leaders Reid and McConnell:
"Last month, the House passed legislation to prevent interest rates on subsidized Stafford loans from doubling to 6.8 percent on July 1st. It would also end Washington's ability to use student loan rates as political bargaining chips. Unfortunately, the Senate has failed to act -- and that's not fair to the students and their families who are facing this deadline. That's why I am proud to be part of a bipartisan push that is urging the Senate to join us in passing a long-term solution that fixes the student loan program and stops rates from doubling on July 1st. According to a new study from the American Action Forum, the average student could have saved up to $3,400 more through college had there been a market-based interest rate during their time."
Griffin joined 51 other Republican and Democratic congressmen in writing a letter to Senate Leaders Reid and McConnell urging them to pass a bill similar to the House-passed Smarter Solutions for Students Act (H.R. 1911). H.R. 1911 would return student loans to a market-based system, removing Congress's role in setting rates and ensuring student borrowers are able to take advantage of low interest rates available in the marketplace. The bill also protects American taxpayers by requiring federal student loans to move with the government's cost of lending. President Obama's submitted a similar proposal in his fiscal year 2014 budget.