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Smarter Solutions for Students Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. ANDREWS. Mr. Speaker, I thank my friend for yielding.

The question before the House this morning is whether we should make college more affordable or less affordable, which is better for the country.

If we do nothing by July 1, interest rates double on student loan rates from 3.4 to 6.8 percent. This bill makes it worse. It will actually increase college costs for a typical student by $5- or $6,000 over a 10-year period, $3.7 billion across the country.

There's a better way. The government's borrowing money today at 1 percent. Why don't we borrow the money at 1 percent, factor in the cost of administering the loans and setting aside a reserve for default, and charge that amount to the students, rather than run a profit-making enterprise on student loans?

Mr. Tierney and others have taken the lead on this, Mr. Courtney has, and that's the bill that I think is the appropriate long-term solution.

But I do know this. If you listen to any corporate leader, any business leader in America, they tell you this: we will only grow and prosper with a skilled workforce, and we will only have a skilled workforce if higher education is affordable.

The simple question before the House is, if you think higher education should be less affordable, vote ``yes.'' If you think it should be more affordable, vote ``no.''

``No'' is the right vote. There's a better way. We should put that on the floor and proceed that way.


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