Congresswoman Niki Tsongas voted today to support legislation that will prevent government subsidized student loan interest rates from doubling on July 1st and will provide funding needed to support ongoing transportation and road improvement projects throughout the country. Tsongas, who cosponsored legislation to prevent the student loan rate hike earlier this year and who has been a strong supporter of adequate funding for transportation infrastructure, released the following statement.
"Congress came together this afternoon to pass two critical pieces of legislation that will benefit our economy, create jobs, and increase our nation's competitiveness. The bipartisan reauthorization of the Surface Transportation Bill will ensure that needed federal funding will be available to keep millions of workers on the job as they modernize our roads, railways, highways, and transportation infrastructure. This legislation also makes some key reforms by consolidating various transportation programs and cutting existing red tape, while leveraging federal resources to expand public-private partnerships in transportation.
"Additionally, action by the House today will keep the interest rate on federally subsidized student loans at 3.4 percent instead of having these rates rise to 6.8 percent in just two days time. Before coming to Congress, I spent nearly a decade working at a community college and during that time I had the opportunity to witness firsthand the extraordinary difference that a college education can make in a person's life. There are few issues as vital to our economic future as developing a trained and educated workforce. Keeping borrowing costs at more reasonable levels will help strengthen our national commitment to providing affordable college opportunities for all qualified students.
"While we should not wait until the last moment to act on critical pieces of legislation such as these, today's bipartisan action will benefit our communities and constituents and I thank my colleagues for supporting both initiatives."