U.S. Rep. Blaine Luetkemeyer (MO-3) today expressed disappointment that Senate Democrats failed to pass legislation addressing student loan rates that doubled today despite having the opportunity to consider the Smarter Solutions for Students Act passed in May by a bipartisan majority of House members that would have stopped the increase and stopped Congress from arbitrarily setting student loan rates in the future.
"We passed legislation way back in May to stop student loans from doubling in order to make college more affordable for students and parents yet loan rates are doubling today because the Senate majority refused to act and that is simply unacceptable," Luetkemeyer said. "As a result of this abject failure, beginning student loan rates go from 3.4 percent to a 6.8 percent and Senate Democrats need to come clean on why they failed to act."
The House bill would calculate student loan interest rates using a market credit rate based on Treasury Note yields, similar to way rates were set for more than 30 years prior to 2007. Based on the current Treasury note, this legislation could lead interest rates to drop by as much as two percent for millions of Stafford and PLUS loan borrowers this summer. Additionally, this legislation maintains students' ability to consolidate their loans after graduation and lock in a fixed rate for the life of the loan.
This solution has widespread, bipartisan support as it closely mirrors the president's own market-based plan offered in his budget.