Mr. COURTNEY. Mr. Speaker, unless this Congress acts, in 75 days, the interest rate for the Stafford student loan program will explode for 8 million college students. Unless Congress acts, the rate will jump from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. At a time when student loan debt now exceeds credit card debt, added interest costs for a student using Stafford will increase between $5,000 and $10,000.
It is unconscionable that the Republican leadership will not bring up H.R. 3826, a bill I've introduced with 119 cosponsors to lock in the lower rate. Incredibly, the chair of the Subcommittee on Higher Education spoke last week in North Carolina and said: I have very little tolerance for people who tell me they graduate with $200,000 of debt or even $80,000 of debt.
Really? It is a sad statement when today's Republican Party turns its back on a program that helps millions of Americans fulfill their dreams and that is named after Republican Senator Robert Stafford of Vermont.
Stop the rate hike. Bring up H.R. 3826 for a vote, and keep the American
Dream alive for millions of college students.