Rep. George Miller, the senior Democrat on the House Education and the Workforce Committee, today released the following statement regarding the approaching increase of student loan interest rates this summer:
"This week, instead of taking action to stop a $6 billion interest rate hike on low-income and middle-income families, House Republicans passed a tax cut for the rich-and-famous that adds $46 billion to the deficit. At a time of historically low interest rates and with recent graduates facing a tight job market, Congress shouldn't let student loan interest rates double or create more hurdles for young people to get the education they need to be successful in the 21st century.
"Making a college education more affordable is the right thing to do for the nation's long-term prosperity. I am committed to working with President Obama, Chairman Harkin, and all of my Congressional colleagues to avoid this interest rate hike in a way that covers the cost without hurting students and their families."
In February, U.S. Reps. Miller and Rubén Hinojosa (D-TX), the senior Democrat on the Higher Education and Workforce Training Subcommittee, sent a letter to Chairman John Kline (R-MN) urging action to prevent the student loan interest rate hike that is scheduled to take effect in July 1, 2012. However, House Republicans have so far failed to act. If congressional action is not taken by July 1, more than 7 million low-income and middle class families and students will see their interest rates double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent -- costing a student borrower $1,000 in additional repayment costs.