Mr. HIGGINS. Mr. Speaker, unless Congress takes action, student loan rates will double on July 1. This is unacceptable. Access to affordable education is one of the most important issues to young people today, yet many graduates find themselves tens of thousands of dollars in debt as they leave school and try to enter the workforce. In New York State, 60 percent of college students graduate with some debt, averaging $27,000.
Mr. Speaker, I was pleased to sign the discharge petition by Representative Joe Courtney, H.R. 1595, the Student Loan Relief Act, along with over 180 of my colleagues. This legislation would freeze the interest rate at its current 3.4 percent for the next 2 years.
It's time for Republican leadership to acknowledge the urgency of this legislation and bring it to the floor. All Americans deserve a fair shot at a good and affordable education.