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Congresswoman Grace Meng

Representing the 6th District of New York

Meng blasts Republican leadership for allowing student loan rates to double

Jun 28, 2013
Press Release
U.S. Rep. Grace Meng (D-Queens) today blasted House Republican leaders for allowing interest rates to double on student loans.
As of July 1, the rates for Stafford loans – the most popular funding for college students – will soar from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent, making it harder for students and middle-class families to afford higher education.
The Republican leadership in the House had the opportunity to prevent the increase but GOP leaders failed to act before they adjourned the House this afternoon until July 8th. That means that more than seven million students and their families will be socked with higher loan rates beginning Monday.
“The lack of action by the Republican leadership in the House is a cruel and heartless attack on our nation’s students and their families,” said Meng. “Our students are our country’s most important investment. An affordable college education is an essential tool for them to succeed in today’s competitive job market, and it’s critical for the future health and prosperity of our nation. I urge GOP leaders to reduce this unacceptable spike in interest rates as soon as the House reconvenes, and to ensure that the reduction is retroactive to July 1.“
Back in 2007, Congressional Democrats passed and President Bush signed the College Cost Reduction and Access Act, which lowered subsidized rates on need-based Stafford loans gradually over a four-year period, decreasing the interest rate from 6.8 percent to 3.4 percent through the 2011-12 academic year. In 2012, Congress extended this reduced rate for a year, and now it’s set to expire on Monday .
Meng is a cosponsor of the Student Loan Relief Act of 2013 (H.R. 1595) which would extend the reduced interest rate for another two years.
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