U.S. Senator Chris Coons (D-Del.) released the following statement on his vote to invoke cloture on the motion to proceed to S.1238, the Keep Student Loans Affordable Act of 2013. The measure failed, 51-49.
"Allowing the cost of higher education in America to increase unabated -- and denying access to that education to millions of Americans -- is a self-defeating policy. A college degree has become a prerequisite for competition in the global marketplace, and we cannot afford to continue to handicap our workforce with unsustainable costs and crippling debt. If we are committed to putting Americans back to work and keeping our nation competitive, Congress must take action to reduce the student loan burden and expand access to higher education. Today we had an opportunity to take a step in the right direction by undoing the abrupt increase in federally subsidized Stafford Loan interest rates that went into effect last week and added about $1,000 per year in interest to the average student's loan debt. It was only a temporary fix, but it would have provided welcome relief to students across the country struggling to invest in their own successful futures. Congress must find a way to work to pass a bipartisan, long-term solution that helps the 18,000 Delawareans with subsidized Stafford loans, and indeed all Americans, reach their full potential."