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Providing for Consideration of H.R. 5326, Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 2013; Waiving Requirement of Clause 6(a) of Rule XIII with Respect to Consideration of Certain Resolutions; and for Other Purposes

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. COURTNEY. Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to the rule and to allow the Tierney amendment to move forward, which would allow a real solution to the 53-day ticking time bomb for college students and middle class families all across this country.

Today, literally, as we're standing here, high school seniors are getting notices in the mail about whether they've been admitted to college; students are now packing up and leaving for the end of the spring term already thinking about next year; financial aid offices are trying to plan with families about how to pay for next year's tuition; and yet what they have before them is a situation where on July 1, the rates will double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent.

On July 23, the President of the United States stood on that podium and challenged Congress to avoid that rate increase from going through. And for 3 months, we had a Republican majority which stonewalled this issue with no bill, no markup, no hearing. I filed legislation the day after that speech. We have over 150 cosponsors to permanently lock in the lower rate. Yet, as Mr. Miller indicated, what we heard from the House Republicans was a bill 10 days ago which bypassed committees, nothing from the Education and the Workforce Committee, rammed it through the Rules Committee, and paid for in the most disgraceful, grotesque fashion.

It wipes out a fund to pay for prevention of heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and early-childhood diseases. That is not a solution. The President made it clear when that scam was presented that it would be vetoed immediately. It is a dead letter. It is time for us to, yes, debate a CJS appropriations bill, which is very important. But those kids, those families need a horizon before them as they deal with one of the most exciting opportunities and challenges before them, which is how to pay for higher education.

We should defeat this rule. We should allow a motion to go forward which will defuse this ticking time bomb for middle class families all across America, push aside that joke of a bill that passed 10 days ago, and get down to the business of addressing middle class families' needs and young people's needs to help solve the problems of this country and give them the opportunity to succeed.


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