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Public Statements

The Role of Education in Rebuilding the American Economy

Floor Speech

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Date:
Location: Washington, DC

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Mr. HOLT. I represent a number of students in universities, students who have been to university, and students who hope to go to university for whom this is very important.

As a member of the Education and Workforce Committee, I was involved in writing the legislation that resulted in the current lower interest rate. So I take this very personally for all sorts of reasons.

As you point out, there are a number of problems with what is about to happen and what the majority, the Republican Party, is proposing here with adjustable rates that could trap students or former students with unmanageable debt. But what bothers me the most is why they are doing it.

The point is they are trying to raise revenue without appearing to raise taxes. They are unwilling to ask a fair share from people in this economy who are doing well and instead want to turn to students and recent graduates and ask them to balance the budget, to reduce the deficit. That's why the interest rates are going up. It is so that they can collect more money. And they would be collecting it from students, just as you've been discussing. Just the wrong thing to do for an economy that is going to create new jobs, new job entry, create economic growth.

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Mr. HOLT. Oh, this is very definitely a revenue-raising measure, because they have this hard-and-fast principle against collecting revenue from people who can afford to pay it and who are doing well.

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Mr. HOLT. I thank the gentleman for presenting those numbers, because it's been in the news recently that the immigration bill would actually reduce the deficit. I'm sure a lot of people around the country scratch their head and say, ``How could that be?'' but you've made it quite clear. It actually improves the economy in several different ways, just as making college more affordable improves the economy. The result is we are all more prosperous. The result is the deficit goes down. The result is we all have improved quality of life.

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