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Public Statements

Interest Rate Reduction Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Ms. BUERKLE. Mr. Speaker, today we have an opportunity to vote on a bipartisan initiative that will save our country's future leaders billions of dollars. Economists have resoundingly predicted that a student loan crisis may soon send America's fragile economic sector into shambles if it is not soon addressed.

The New York Federal Reserve has reported that student loans are the leading cause of this debt, with $870 billion last month alone. This tops even credit card debt.

My friend in Illinois has proposed a commonsense solution to halt an increase in Federal loan rates that everyone agrees is needless.

But, Mr. Speaker, I must say to you, I was stunned to hear that leaders on the other side of our aisle, our good friends on the other side, were attempting to take this issue hostage.

Our sons' and daughters' pursuits have been hijacked for political gamesmanship.

Let me be clear, Mr. Speaker, the fund which is offsetting this looming rate hike is nothing more than a slush fund. The HHS Secretary has authority to use it without congressional discretion. It was yet another allowance given to an unelected, unaccountable bureaucrat to be used on things such as bike paths, jungle gyms, and worse yet, lobbying efforts.

I am a woman who has worked for years as a women's health care practitioner, and on behalf of women's health care patients, I will tell you, for the other side, Mr. Speaker, to manipulate this issue does nothing to advance women's interests, but in fact demeans the accomplishments made in women's health over the past decades.

Mr. Speaker, I implore my colleagues who are playing games with this critical issue to grow up. This is not kindergarten. This is the reality of crushing college costs. This bill will help our future by making colleges more affordable by leaving them with a country that is not inundated in debt.


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