House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA) today delivered the following remarks at a press conference on the steps of the U.S. Capitol, where she was joined by Speaker John Boehner and other House Republican leaders - as well as over a hundred young Americans - to call attention to Senate Democrats' lack of action to prevent student loan rates from rising:
"Although the Democratic Senate has known for many months that on July 1st many student loans, federal student loans, would double -- they've been more involved in internal bickering rather than actually addressing the issue. And the students that are surrounding us today, they're all suffering because of it.
"One example is a gal from eastern Washington, Hayley Hohman. She's working at a local McDonald's drive-through in eastern Washington to help pay for rising tuition at Washington State University. And when she heard that her federal loans may be doubling -- she's an aspiring economist, maybe a public servant -- now she's not sure she'll be able to finish school. And unfortunately that is repeated among many students all across this country.
"I was the first in my family to graduate from college and graduate school. I am still paying off some of those student loans myself, and I can tell you firsthand how difficult it is at times to pay those tuition rates. It's not fair for the Democrats who run Washington to stand in these students' way.
"In any given year, about 20 million students are in college and 60% of them have to take out student loans. So, when Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid tells us he's not looking for a compromise, I would encourage him to think about Hayley, think about these college students, think about the millions of others across the country.
"As Members of Congress, we are here to make life easier for students that want to go to college, want to get an education, and want to find a job. Instead we see just the opposite: we see fighting internally instead of finding a solution, and I urge them to act quickly to put students first, not Washington politics."