Congresswoman Pingree on Student Loan Rates Vote Today

By Carol McCracken  (Post # 1,458)

Congresswoman Chellie Pingree slammed the failure of Congressional Republicans to pass legislation that would have prevented student loan rates from rising and instead passing a bill that would make the interest rate on student loans adjustable up to 10.5%.  Because Congress has failed to act, interest rates for federal student loans went from 3.4% to 6.8% today according to a press release issued by Pingree’s office.

“Congress could have done the right thing and kept student loan rates at 3.4%, but instead House Republicans pushed through a bill that would drive up loan payments, make the cost of college unpredictable and would profit off of students and their families in the name of deficit reduction,” Pingree said.

The bill passed by House Republicans would generate $3.7 billion for the government over ten years, according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office.

Pingree has joined a number of her colleagues in an attempt to force a vote on a bill that would keep student loan rates at 3.4%.

Student loan debt has doubled in the last ten years, to over $19,000 onaverage.  It’s now the second biggest source of household debt behind home mortgages.

Pingree signed a discharge petition for a bill that would freeze federal student loans at the current 3.4% rate.  House leadership would be forced to hold a vote on the bill if at least 218 Representatives sign the petition.  Currently there are 186 signatures.