House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement after Congress failed to prevent student loan interest rates from doubling from 3.4 to 6.8% today:
"It is extremely disappointing that Congress has failed to act to keep student loan interest rates low. It was no surprise that rates would double today from 3.4% to 6.8%, but partisan dysfunction in Congress continues to stand in the way of solving even the most predictable and easily preventable problems facing our country. The future competitiveness of our economy depends on making sure all of our students who wish to pursue higher education and learn the skills they need to thrive in a twenty-first century workforce can afford to do so.
"The bill Republicans passed in the House in May would allow student loan interest rates to rise and make it harder for students to afford higher education. That bill was not a realistic answer to this problem -- there was never any chance of it being considered in the Senate. It is a shame that we missed an opportunity for bipartisan compromise to keep rates low. I hope that, when the House returns from the July 4th district work period, Democrats and Republicans can work together to achieve a long-term solution."