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Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act

Floor Speech

Location: Washington, DC


Mr. COBURN. We are going to borrow $1.6 trillion over the next 10 years to fund student loans. The differential between what that costs the Treasury
and what somebody pays--we are going to have subsidies in this no matter what. The question is, How much are the subsidies? We are talking about subsidized student loans, but all of these end up with a cap of 8.25 percent when the student loans are consolidated, which all of them are. We can have an income-based repayment plan, but there is still a cap when a student ultimately gets through school.

The whole purpose behind this is to get some long-term plan so we can control the cost. If, in fact, we have 3.4 percent and the rates go to that, that means the average American taxpayer is subsidizing at 14 percent of that cost.

I agree with the Senator that we, in fact, need to fix the cost drivers in a collegiate education, but one of the cost drivers is us. Senator Alexander and Senator Harkin have major bills on both of those. I agree that we are not going to get that debate done. I do think we can come to a compromise between what we have proposed and what the President proposed and what the Senator from Rhode Island is proposing that will solve the long-term problem. A 2-year extension doesn't do us any good, and it only does 40 percent. The cost the Senator outlined is a subscription to Netflix at $14 a month. That is the cost differential between my colleague's bill and what we are proposing. Somewhere in between there has to be a compromise.

My colleague from Rhode Island has my commitment that I will work with him to do that. If we--myself, Senator Alexander, Senator Burr, the Senator from Rhode Island, and those on the Democratic side--can forge something out in the next 3 weeks, we are more than happy to do it.

I yield the floor, and I thank the Senator from Vermont.


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