Griffin: Student Loan Bill Will Provide Needed But Modest Relief

WASHINGTON – Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02) issued the following statement after House passage of the Interest Rate Reduction Act (H.R. 4628):                   

“The truth is, I have a lot of personal experience with student loans and, some 20 years later, continue to pay for the $100,000 worth I took out to pay for my education.  I voted for today’s bill because the relief it will provide to students is needed, and it is paid for by eliminating an ObamaCare slush fund, but we need to be honest with our young people about the true impact of this legislation.  For days, President Obama has demagogued this issue and led students to believe that this will provide substantial savings.  In reality, according to reports, the impact it will have on the average eligible student’s loan will be $7 per month – not a substantial amount, even for someone living on a student’s budget.  The President has talked a lot about student loans but continues to play hooky when it comes to telling students how the loans we’re taking from countries like China are going to impact them when they graduate.”

The Interest Rate Reduction Act would prevent interest rates on new federally-subsidized Stafford loans made to undergraduate students from increasing from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on July 1, 2012.  The bill would extend the 3.4 percent rate until July 1, 2013.  The cost of a one-year extension of the lower rate is $5.985 billion, and to pay for this cost, the bill would repeal the unobligated balance of the “Prevention and Public Health Fund,” a slush fund in President Obama’s health care law.  The remaining $11.9 billion in savings generated from its repeal will go toward reducing the deficit.