Congressman Dale E. Kildee (D-MI), a senior member of the Education and Workforce Committee, released the following statement today after House Republicans introduced a bill to extend student loan interest rates by cutting spending on chronic illness prevention programs. House Republicans unveiled their bill after House Democrats introduced legislation to extend current rates by eliminating unnecessary oil and gas subsidies. If Congress fails to pass a bill to extend current interest rates, loan rates will double on July 1, 2012.
"The House Republican bill to extend student loan interest rates proves that there is nothing more sacred to their party than oil and gas subsidies. Instead of using those unnecessary subsidies to pay for extending student loan rates, the Republicans would rather take away money from programs that prevent chronic illnesses," said Congressman Kildee. "I fully support the Democratic bill which would extend the current student loan interest rates without putting anyone's health in jeopardy. Rather than coming up with a realistic alternative, the Republicans want to continue to play political games and take shots at the healthcare reform law. Meanwhile, millions of Americans are left wondering whether or not this Congress is going to sit by and allow their student loan debt to double in July."
The Democratic bill, the Stop the Rate Hike Act of 2012, would keep interest rates on student loans at 3.4 percent next year, saving borrowers an average of $1,000 in loan repayment costs. The Democratic bill is fully paid for by ending billions of dollars in unnecessary tax subsidies to big oil and gas companies. Additional savings achieved by ending the oil and gas subsidies will go to reducing the deficit.