U.S. Representative Cynthia Lummis joined House colleagues Friday to maintain undergraduate student Stafford loan rates of 3.4%. The rates, set to double in June, were established by a democratically controlled congress in 2007.
The cost of extending the loan rates, over $6 billion, will be paid for by eliminating the Prevention and Public Health Fund. Fifteen billion dollars was appropriated to the fund as part of the Patient Affordable Care Act under the direction of the Center for Disease Control. Through a number of grant reports, the bulk of the Prevention and Public Health Fund has been used for tax lobbying efforts for among other things, junk food, tobacco products and sugary beverages.
The year extension prevents the June interest rate on student loans from rising to 6.8%.
"6.8% is a high interest rate for anyone borrowing right now, let alone students who face hefty unemployment rates after graduation," Rep. Lummis said.