Mr. TIERNEY. Mr. Speaker, during the last 2 months, students from my district have spoken out about their struggles to afford college, to pay their loans, to keep up their grades, and to maintain their jobs. Many of them are working multiple jobs and still graduated with $20,000 to $30,000 in debt, and it's way too much for them.
So now they're just watching as the days tick by, and we're getting closer to July 1, when student loan interest rates will actually double if Congress doesn't act. They are understandably scared and frustrated.
At Middlesex Community College recently, the students that I met with added their voices to the debate and signed their names on the ``Wall of Debt.'' In the days following, hundreds of students, parents, and even grandparents added their names to what has now become the virtual ``Wall of Debt.'' They're letting Congress know that we can't let those interest rates double on July 1.
So, again, I'm standing here today on behalf of 177,000 students from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and 7 million students across the country whose student loans rates are set to double if Congress doesn't act, and I call upon my Republican colleagues to put the partisanship and the political games aside and take real action on this important issue.
While I believe the bill that I put forward a month ago to prevent the interest rate from doubling to 6.8 percent and was fully paid for by just one tax subsidy to Big Oil was fair and reasonable, I continue to be open to find other ways to compensate for that bill. I urge my colleagues to join me in doing that and make sure that this interest rate does not double.