FOLLOWING MONEY IN 2016 PRESIDENTIAL POLITICS

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

READ: How Arizona Representatives Voted On "Student Loan Rate Fix" - Only One Voted "Nay"

The U.S. House of Representatives overwhelmingly (392-31) voted this evening to send a student loan rate fix to the President's desk; as might be expected with that kind of vote margin, eight of Arizona's nine Congresspeople voted in favor.

Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-CD3) was the lone "nay" vote from the Grand Canyon State, and he said afterward that "we shouldn’t charge students more to borrow for college than we charge banks.”  His entire statement is below the jump.


Rep. Ron Barber (D-CD2) explained his "aye" vote by saying that he was not happy about the bill, but that he thought it important "to create certainty for students as they enter this school year.  “In the long run, we need a better solution that will protect students from high interest rates and ensures that rates remain stable. This bill fails to do that. I call on leadership in the House and Senate to come back to the table and pass real protections for students that will keep college affordable.” Barber's entire statement is also below the jump.

We welcome your comments about this post. Or, if you have something unrelated on your mind, please e-mail to info-at-arizonaspolitics-dot-com or call 602-799-7025. Thanks.




Grijalva Votes Against Bill to Charge Students More Over Time, Calls for Better Interest Rates forStudents and Less Focus on Profits

Washington, D.C. – Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva released the following statement today after voting against the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act, which passed the House of Representatives and now heads to the White House for likely approval.

This bill means students will pay $715 million more down the road than they would if current rates, which recently doubled for new borrowers, stayed untouched. Today we reverse the July 1 student loan interest rate hike at the cost of ultimately charging students more over the next decade.

We need to make student loans more accessible to students and easier to pay back. In this country, in our economy, students should not have to agonize over whether to go to college because of our nation’s crushing student debt problem.

Rep. Grijalva supported Rep. John Tierney’s (D-Mass.) bill to tie the student loan interest rate to the current Federal Reserve lending rate, which is currently 0.75 percent. Grijalva also signed a discharge petition and indicated his support for H.R. 2574, which would set the interest rate for any subsidized Stafford loan made between July 1, 2013 and June 30, 2014 at 3.4 percent.

We shouldn’t charge students more to borrow for college than we charge banks,” Grijalva said.

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U.S. REP. RON BARBER VOTES FOR BIPARTISAN STUDENT LOAN COMPROMISE, BUT SAYS STUDENTS DESERVE BETTER

Congressman said legislation is far from perfect, but an important step to protect current students


WASHINGTON – U.S. Rep. Ron Barber today voted to support compromise legislation setting new rates for student loans to create certainty for students – but he said students deserve better.

“I voted for this bill today, to create certainty for students as they enter this school year, but it is far from the right answer for students,” Barber said. “In the long run, we need a better solution that will protect students from high interest rates and ensures that rates remain stable. This bill fails to do that. I call on leadership in the House and Senate to come back to the table and pass real protections for students that will keep college affordable.”

The House passed the legislation today 392-to-31. It already has passed the Senate and now goes to the president who has said he will sign it.

The interest rate for Stafford student loans had been 3.4 percent. But that rate expired on July 1 and was automatically doubled to 6.8 percent – which Barber firmly opposed.

Last month, Barber and University of Arizona President Ann Weaver Hart co-authored an op-ed in the Arizona Daily Star calling for a bipartisan agreement to keep down the student loan rate.

“Even with the fiscal pressures brought on by the economic challenges our nation faces, students should not have to risk their financial futures to fund their education,” Barber and Hart wrote. “ … There is no better issue on which we can work together in a bipartisan fashion than keeping the core American value of an affordable education and promising career alive for generations to come.”

Under the legislation approved today by the House, student loan interest rates will be based on the rate for 10-year Treasury notes each June 1. The interest rate will be the Treasury rate plus:
·        2.05 percent for Stafford undergraduate student loans;
·        3.6 percent for graduate student loans;
·        4.6 percent for parent PLUS loans.

This year’s Treasury note rate was 1.81 percent on June 1, so Stafford undergraduate loans taken out before July 1, 2014 will have an interest rate of 3.89 percent. Once a student takes out a loan, the interest rate is set for the life of that loan.

“I am unsatisfied with this solution – but it is an important step to make sure our students don’t face the 6.8 percent interest rate that would be in effect had we done nothing,” Barber said today.

“More than 7 million students, former students and their families – including more than 450,000 in Arizona – rely on these loans to help pay for college,” Barber added. “Federal student loans are an important tool for ensuring that educational opportunities remain open to as many Americans as possible. Higher education is a critical economic engine for our state and nation.”


We welcome your comments about this post. Or, if you have something unrelated on your mind, please e-mail to info-at-arizonaspolitics-dot-com or call 602-799-7025. Thanks.

1 comment:

Phoenix Justice said...

I agree with Congressman Grijalva, we shouldn't be charging a higher interest rate for student loans than we do to the banks who were instrumental in destroying our economy.