SEARCH

Entries in Student Loans (21)

Saturday
Jul062013

GOP Weekly Address: Rep. Lynn Jenkins Urges Action on Student Loans

US House of Representatives(WASHINGTON) -- In this week's Republican address, Rep. Lynn Jenkins, R-Ks., a mother of two college students urges Senate Democrats to approve bipartisan student loan reform.

Inaction caused the interest rates on many student loans to double on July 1, despite the House working in May to attempt to stop the rate increase.

Here is the full transcript of this week's Republican address, presented by Kansas Rep. Lynn Jenkins:

"Hello, I’m Lynn Jenkins, Congresswoman from the Second District of Kansas and Vice-Chair of the House Republican Conference. I hope you and your family had a wonderful Independence Day.

The spirit of 1776 is fresh in our hearts this weekend. America is at its best when it lives up to the blessings our forebears pledged everything to secure. Their ideas have survived and thrived because every generation has worked hard to expand the pursuit of happiness and ensure our children are free to live a better life.

Today these essentials of the American Dream are at risk. Last week, I spoke with hundreds of college students who are concerned they won’t have the same opportunities their parents had. They find it hard to see beyond paying off their education, stretching to afford rent, and finding a job in this tough economy.

That’s why, over the last few months, Republicans made every effort to stop interest rates on some student loans from doubling, as they unnecessarily did on July 1st. For too long, politicians have been in charge of setting these rates, and we keep coming back to cliffs and deadlines like this one. Paying for college is difficult enough without all this uncertainty. I have two kids in college, I know how hard it can be.

So in the spring, when President Obama proposed letting the markets set interest rates instead, the Republican-led House passed a bill reflecting his plan. Republicans in the Senate came to the table with similar ideas. Unfortunately, Senate Democrats attacked the president’s plan, refused to work with us, and allowed this rate hike to take effect, leaving for the July 4th holiday without passing a solution.

Because of this inaction, millions of undergraduates who want to take out a subsidized Stafford loan are now being told they will have to pay an interest rate that’s double what they were expecting.  That’s just not right.  
You deserve a fairer approach, one free of politics that allows you to take advantage of lower rates and have more peace of mind. That’s what we’ve been working on. In the House, we haven’t just talked about it; we’ve actually passed it.  Now we need the Democratic-controlled Senate to act.

On behalf of parents and students across the nation, I call on Senate Democrats to join with us and help pass bipartisan student loan reform when the Senate returns to work next week.  And President Obama should do his part by urging his fellow Democrats in the Senate to work with us.  We will not let up until they agree to do the right thing.

Thank you for listening, and God bless the United States of America."

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jun262012

Student Loan Deal Taking Shape on Capitol Hill

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Congress is starting to see some light at the end of the student loan impasse tunnel.

Both the Democratic and Republican leaders in the Senate Tuesday announced that a deal is almost complete to avoid student loan rates from doubling on July 1. The deal, which both Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., announced Friday, is contingent on the House Republican leadership getting their members on board.

“We are moving toward completion this week of both the extension of the student loan rates at the current level for another year,” McConnell said Tuesday after his party’s weekly lunch. “Senator Reid and I have an understanding that I think would be acceptable to the House.”

Reid said he too believes they’ve come together and are at a “good place” with a deal but that the final details, which neither side was willing to divulge yet, would have to come together by Wednesday.

“We basically have the student loan issue worked out,” Reid said. “The next question is, what do we put it on to make sure we can complete it? There are a number of suspects we have, but right now we don’t have that worked out yet. ”

The student loan deal may be coupled legislatively with the highway bill extension, which negotiators intimated might be the more efficient way to pass the deal, avoiding numerous votes and passing both with one fell swoop.

“We’re very close to having everything done,” Reid added. “But until we get everything done, nothing’s done. There’s been a lot of progress made. I appreciate the House Republicans working so well, and I know we can pass a bill.  But, as I told my caucus, everyone has to be very, very patient now, and wait and see how the process works out. ”

Both Republicans and Democrats have long believed the subsidized Stafford loan rates should not be doubled from the current 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent and agreed the current rates should be extended for at least another year. But getting both sides to agree on how to pay for the bill was the source of disagreement.

The nuts and bolts of the deal are still being worked out, both sides said, so they would not yet reveal the details of the compromise.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Jun222012

Obama, GOP Clash over Student Loans

JupiterImages/Comstock Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama on Thursday demanded that lawmakers act to prevent interest rates on student loans from doubling on July 1, saying it was “mind-boggling” that the stalemate has lasted this long.

“This should be a no-brainer.  It should not be difficult.  It should have gotten done weeks ago,” the president told students, parents and educators at the White House.  “There’s still 10 days for Congress to do the right thing.  I understand that members of both parties say they want to get this done and there are conversations taking place, but they haven’t done it yet.  And we’ve got to keep the pressure on.”

Both Republicans and Democrats believe the subsidized Stafford loan rates should not be doubled from the current 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent and agree the current rates should be extended for at least another year.  But the sides cannot agree to how to pay for the $6 billion bill.

Democrats propose raising the Medicare and Social Security payroll taxes on high-earning stockholders of some privately owned companies.  Republicans oppose the measure.

Republicans propose getting rid of a preventative health fund that was created in the health care bill.  Democrats oppose that and the proposal has no chance of getting though a Democratically-controlled Senate.

On Thursday, the president accused Republicans of stalling.

“Congress has had the time to fix this for months.  That’s part of the reason why everybody here looks impatient,” Obama said to laughter from the audience in the East Room.  “This issue didn’t come out of nowhere.  It’s been looming for months.  But we’ve been stuck watching Congress play chicken with another deadline.”

Republicans, however, claim they have been trying to solve the issue but that the president prefers to play politics.

“This is just another sad example of his election-year strategy of deflection and distraction,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said on Thursday.

The Senate has failed at passing both Democratic and Republican proposals.  The House of Representatives has passed its plan, but the Democratically-controlled Senate has not taken it up, and it wouldn’t stand a chance of passing the Senate.

GOP leaders outlined their proposals to pay for the bill’s estimated $6 billion price tag earlier this month based on savings the president included in his budget plan, but say the White House never responded.

“We’ve reached out to the president,” McConnell said.  “We’ve proposed multiple good-faith solutions.  The only reason this issue isn’t already resolved -- the only reason -- is that the president wants to keep it alive.  He thinks it benefits him politically for college students to believe we’re the problem.  It’s time to stop the games.  It’s time for the president to act.”

Senate Majority Leader Reid, D-Nev., on Thursday said while Congress is “not there yet,” he’s confident that they’re down the right road on the bill and can make progress before the July 1 deadline.  He insisted that over the last two days there have been meetings that have given him this hope.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Jun072012

Obama Slams Congress for Failing to Act on Student Loans

KIM JAE-HWAN/AFP/Getty Images(LAS VEGAS) -- Touting his efforts to make college more affordable, President Obama Thursday blasted lawmakers for failing to extend low-rate student loans.

“This is a no-brainer,” the president told students at a campaign-style rally at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. “I’ve just said to Congress: Get this done. Get it done...this is not complicated.”

Thursday’s event was the latest in the president’s push to boost support among young voters and contrast his education policies with those of congressional Republicans and presumptive GOP nominee Mitt Romney.

Both the administration and Republican lawmakers want to prevent interest rates on a popular student loan from doubling at the end of the month, but remain deadlocked over how to pay for it.

Thursday, the president accused Republicans of stalling on the legislation and urged them to “get to work” and extend the low rates.

“The number one thing Congress should do for you...right now, is to stop interest rates from student loans from doubling at the end of the month,” he said to applause. “The clock is running out. You know, in today’s economy, higher education can’t be a luxury. It’s an economic necessity. Everybody should be able to afford it.”

Republicans, however, have launched their own offensive, accusing the president of playing politics with the issue and urging him to come back to Washington to “work with us” on a solution.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell Thursday charged the president with using “students as props in yet another speech calling on Congress to act.”

“What the president won’t tell these students is that the House has already acted and that Republicans in both chambers are ready to work on solutions as soon as the president can take the time,” he said on the Senate floor ahead of the president’s speech. “All the president has to do is to pick up his mail, choose one of the bipartisan proposals we laid out in a letter to him last week, proposals he’s already shown that he supports.”

GOP leaders outlined their proposals to pay for the bill’s estimated $6 billion price tag in their letter, but say the White House has not responded to their plan.

Late Thursday Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., counter-offered the GOP proposals, and his letter was initially well-received by Republican leadership.

The president’s speech at UNLV Thursday marked his only “official event” during a two-day trip to California and Nevada that included five fundraisers and brought in over $5 million for his campaign coffers.

“Of all the thinly veiled campaign events the president has held this year, this one takes the cake,” a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner said. “The president has three common-ground options to resolve this issue sitting on his desk, but he’s deliberately ignoring them to justify this taxpayer-funded rally. It’s truly remarkable.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jun052012

Student Loan Standoff, Finger Pointing, Continues

ABC News(WASHINGTON) -- The Senate Minority Leader declared it is the White House, not Congress, that is preventing an agreement to avoid the student loan rates from doubling in July.

As Vice President Joe Biden sits down Tuesday with college presidents to urge Congress to stop the student loan interest rate from doubling next month, Sen. Mitch McConnell, R-Kentucky, called out the White House for using “props” in an “elaborate farce the White House political team cooked up on this issue.”

Both Republicans and Democrats believe the subsidized Stafford loan rates should not be doubled this July from the current 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent and agree the current rates should be extended for at least another year.

But both sides cannot agree to how to pay for the $6 billion bill.

House Republicans have already passed a proposal that would offset federal spending needed to keep student rates low by taking money from a fund to provide preventive care through the president’s health reform law. Democrats rejected that proposal.

Last month in the Senate both the Democratic and Republican versions failed in a last-minute, and half-hearted, attempt to pass a bill.

“The administration’s approach to this problem, it’s really nothing short of surreal,” McConnell declared from the floor of the senate Tuesday morning.  “The only people dragging their feet on this issue are over at the White House itself. Republicans in Congress have been crystal clear for weeks; we’re ready to resolve the issue, to give students the certainty they need about their loan payments.”

The Vice President, Education Secretary Arne Duncan and CFPB Director Richard Cordray met Tuesday with a group of college presidents to reassert the call for Congress to stop the student loan interest rate from doubling.

On Thursday of last week House Speaker John Boehner, McConnell, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor and Senate Republican Whip Jon Kyl sent a letter to President Obama outlining some new proposals – including raising contributions to retirement programs for federal workers –  to pay for the bill. McConnell said Tuesday they are still waiting for a response.

A Senate Democratic aide says they continue to be open to discussions with Republicans and this issue will come up again in the Senate before the expiration date July 1.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Thursday
May242012

Dueling Student Loan Bills Rejected in Senate

Hemera/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The Senate made one last gesture this month to work on the Student Loan bill, but Democratic and Republican versions both failed in a last-minute, and half-hearted, attempt Thursday before lawmakers leave for a week-long Memorial Day holiday.

The Democratic bill failed by a 51-43 vote. The Republican alternative failed by a 34-62 vote. Both bills needed 60 votes for passage.

Both Republicans and Democrats believe the subsidized Stafford loan rates should not be doubled from the current 3.4 percent to 7.6 percent. Leaders of both parties say the current rates should be extended for at least another year.

But they cannot agree to how to pay for the $6 billion bill.

The Democratic plan proposes paying for the bill by raising the Medicare and Social Security payroll taxes on high-earning stock holders of some privately owned companies. Republicans oppose the measure.

“They’ve known for months that we won’t support this tax hike and that it couldn’t pass this chamber or the House of Representatives,” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Thursday morning of the Democratic proposal. “It has already failed, but they’re proposing it anyway a second time.”

The Republicans propose to pay for the bill by getting rid of a preventative health fund that was created in the health care bill. Democrats oppose this and the proposal has no chance of getting though a Democratically-controlled Senate.

“It would be a shame to use that,” Senate Majority leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said on the Senate floor Thursday morning. “Taking more from it would really hurt the health of America.”

The Senate will be out of session next week for Memorial Day, and will have to move fast when it returns in June to prevent the student loan rates from doubling July 1. Senate Minority Leader McConnell called on President Obama to be more engaged in working toward a solution.

“If the president has got time to run around to late-night comedy shows and college campuses talking about this issue, then he can pick up the phone and work out a solution with Democrats here in the Senate,” McConnell said, “if the president really wants to pass this bill so badly, then why on Earth hasn’t he picked up the phone and spoken to the chairman or ranking member of the committee? He’s campaigned on it but not actually fixed it.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
May082012

As Senate Debates Student Loans, Rubio Still Paying Off College Loans Himself

Joe Raedle/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., voted against taking up a version of the student loan bill offered by Senate Democrats and defended his vote by discussing the student loans he is still trying to pay off.

“I think I am one of the only senators here who still has a student loan,” Rubio said in a paper statement. “As someone with a student loan and with a state with so many people with student loans, I support a hundred percent making sure that the interest rates on student loans do not go up. I cannot support the way the Democrats want to do it, however, because, they want to do it by raising taxes on small businesses, very small businesses. The kinds of small businesses that give jobs to graduates who not only need low-interest rates but need jobs in order to pay their student loans.”

According to financial disclosures, Rubio's Sallie Mae loan totals between $100,000 and $250,000.

Rubio, who attended the University of Florida and the University of Miami’s law school, published an op-ed piece Tuesday discussing the need to maintain current student loan rates. In it, he described how access to student loans provided him with the opportunity to attend college and law school.

During an interview with National Journal’s Major Garrett last month, Rubio joked about how at the age of 40, he is still making student loan payments.

“I still have a student loan by the way. I pay a lady named Sallie Mae every month,” Rubio said to laughter in April.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
May082012

Student Loan Bill Fails to Move Forward in the Senate 

ABC NewsUPDATE: The Democrats’ student loan bill, as predicted, has failed to move forward in the Senate.  Cloture on the “motion to proceed” to the bill was not invoked which means the bill will not be formally taken up. The vote was a party-line vote – 52 to 45 with one senator, Olympia Snowe, R-ME., voting present.  Not voting were Sen. Lugar and Sen. Kirk.  Majority Leader Reid changed his vote to “no” in order to enter a motion to reconsider, perhaps indicating that there is a way forward being negotiated. Both parties are currently huddling for their weekly caucus lunch.  

(WASHINGTON) -- The Senate is going nowhere fast in attempting to prevent student loan rates from doubling July 1. It is scheduled to vote Tuesday to take up the Stop Student Loan Interest Rate Hike Act. But the vote, just to move forward to a debate on the bill, is in jeopardy.

Both Republicans and Democrats believe the subsidized Stafford loan rates should not be doubled from the 3.4 percent to 7.6 percent and agree the lower rate should be extended for at least another year. But both sides cannot agree on how to pay for the $6 billion bill, setting up a nasty battle that will plague Congress in the weeks and months ahead.

Democrats propose paying for the bill by raising the Medicare and Social Security payroll taxes on high-earning stock holders of some privately owned companies. Republicans oppose the measure.

Republicans propose to pay for the bill by getting rid of a preventative health fund that was created in the health care bill. Democrats oppose this and the proposal has no chance of getting through a Democratic-controlled Senate.

Republicans are likely to “filibuster” the Democratic proposal by preventing the bill from proceeding without the 60 votes needed.

Senate Democrats say they are happy to offer Republicans a vote on their alternative pay-for, but first the bill has to be moved forward in the Senate without a Republican filibuster. Meaning the “motion to proceed” Tuesday is an important step Senators must take if they are serious about moving this bill forward in the Senate. Senate Republicans say they are working with Harry Reid to try to lock in a vote on their own bill.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
May072012

Romney Says Students ‘Pulling Back’ from Obama

Emmanuel Dunand/AFP/Alex Wong/Getty Images(EUCLID, Ohio) -- Mitt Romney Monday suggested that the Obama administration is going to promise “a lot of free stuff” to college students who are “pulling back” and who are not as “enthusiastic as they were” about an Obama administration four years ago.

Asked by a medical student at Case Western Reserve what he would do about education financing so that more people can afford higher learning, Romney responded, “The answer is not to say, let’s have the federal government give unlimited loans, no interest to everybody who wants them.”

“By the way, you’re going to hear that. In an effort to try to and reengage college students and graduate students to get involved in the Obama campaign, and they’re pulling back, obviously, they’re not as enthusiastic as they were,” said Romney, who took several questions during a town hall event here. “In an effort to try to get them engaged, he’s going to promise to give a lot of free stuff to them. And to say, I’ll pay for your education, or I’ll get rid of the loans.”

“I’m only guessing, but my expectation is that he’s going to find -- as politicians do -- promises of free stuff as a way to get people to vote for him,” Romney predicted of Obama’s campaign plans. “And we’ve heard that time and time again, but the country’s in balance. We can’t promise money we don’t have, and we should not borrow for promises from politicians.”

Romney suggested that he would find a way to make universities more competitive with one another to bring costs down, recalling that “there was a time when people by and large could pay for college with their summer job and for by working during the school year.”

Romney has previously said he supports an extension of the lower interest rate on subsidized student loans, which are set to double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on July 1.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Friday
Apr272012

Boehner Asks Angrily, ‘Do We Have to Fight About Everything?’

Alex Wong/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- House Speaker John Boehner delivered an impassioned speech Friday on the House floor in support of the GOP’s legislation asking with a thump on the podium, “Do we have to fight about everything?”

Several Democrats, all women, walked out in protest of the speaker’s comments.

video platformvideo managementvideo solutionsvideo player

Boehner, an Ohio Republican, blamed the Democrats for inventing a political fight over the extension of student loan interest rates when there is widespread agreement in Congress that the rates should not be permitted to double on July 1.

“How in the world did we ever get here?” Boehner asked lawmakers. “Think about this: a fight being picked over an issue that everyone knew was going to be resolved; a fight being picked over an issue that there is no fight over. Democrats five years ago put this cliff in the law that would require student loan interest rates to more than double on July the 1st.

“I don’t know why they did it, but they did it,” he added. “Nobody wants to see student interest rates go up, especially when you got recent college graduates -- 50 percent are either unemployed or underemployed as a result of the president’s economic policies.”

Boehner recalled that Democrats and Republicans have worked “for months” trying to fix the problem, and asked why Democrats “insist that we have to have a political fight on something where there is no fight?”

“There is absolutely no fight,” he said. “People want to politicize this because it’s an election year, but my God do we have to fight about everything? And now we’re going to have a fight over women’s health. Give me a break.”

The GOP’s bill on student loans took money from the Affordable Care Act for preventative health care services like mammograms and immunizations, and applied those savings to cover the $6 billion cost of the interest rate extension.

“This is the latest plank in the so-called ‘War on Women,’ entirely created by my colleagues across the aisle for political gain,” he continued as he slapped the podium with his open hand to cheers from Republicans in the chamber. Some women members, including Reps. Yvette Clark, Donna Edwards, Marcy Kaptur and Maxine Waters left the chamber in protest of the speaker’s comments.

Boehner pointed out that President Obama’s own budget “called for reductions in spending in this slush fund” and many Democrats voted to support previous reductions from the preventative health fund when they voted to pass the middle class tax cut earlier this year.

“You may have already forgotten that several months ago you all voted to cut $4 billion out of this slush fund when we passed the payroll tax credit bill,” he said to the Democrats. “So to accuse us of wanting to gut women’s health is absolutely not true.”

Republicans in the chamber erupted into cheers as Boehner regained his composure.

“Ladies and gentlemen, this is beneath us,” he admonished in a soft whisper. “This is beneath the dignity of this House and the dignity of the public trust that we enjoy from our constituents. They expect us to come here and to be honest with each other, to work out these issues. And to pick this big political fight where there is no fight is just silly. Give me a break.”

The House voted a short-time later to approve the legislation, 215-195, much to the dismay of Democrats, who opposed the way Republicans paid for the extension.

The House Republican majority did the heavy lifting in garnering adequate support for the extension, which cost about $6 billion. But it took the support of 13 Democrats to ensure the bill would pass as 30 Republicans ended up voting against the legislation.

The bill now heads to the Senate, but Democrats in the upper chamber have signaled that they will move their own legislation next month with an alternative funding plan. Instead, the Democrats’ bill proposes to increase taxes on small businesses in order to offset the price tag of the legislation.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio







ABC News Radio