Loebsack Continues to Pressure Congressional Leaders to Stop $1,000 Increase on Iowa Students Print
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Vonnie Hampel   
Friday, 14 June 2013 09:59

Signs ‘discharge petition’ to force vote

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack today joined fellow lawmakers to take action that would force House leadership to bring up legislation to prevent student loan rates from doubling.  Student loan interest rates are currently 3.4 percent, but are set to double to 6.8 percent on July 1st.  If Congress does not act, the average borrower’s debt would increase by $1,000. This action builds on Loebsack’s call to House and Senate leaders to come together and bring up a bill for a vote that can be passed by both Chambers and signed into law.  As the only member of the Iowa delegation to serve on the House Education and the Workforce Committee, Loebsack, a cosponsor of the Student Loan Relief Act of 2013 (H.R. 1595), has helped lead the fight to ensure students do not see a raise in interest rates.

“With tuition rising rapidly and far too many Iowans struggling to make ends meet, middle-class families are finding it more and more difficult to pay for college.” wrote Loebsack.  “Time is running out for us to get this done for our students and the future success of our economy.  I strongly urge you to work together to find a solution that will prevent this $1,000 increase on students come July 1st.”

As a member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, Loebsack has championed numerous pieces of legislation to increase access to higher education, including:

·         College Cost Reduction and Access Act (CCRAA) Loebsack helped craft and pass this legislation, which makes college more affordable and accessible for all Iowans by increasing the maximum Pell Grant scholarship and expanding eligibility;

·         Year Round Pell Grants Loebsack authored a provision that created year-round Pell grants in the Higher Education Opportunity Act, which was signed into law in 2008.  However, the year-round Pell grant was unfortunately eliminated in 2011.  In response to the ongoing need for more flexibility, Loebsack partnered with Rep. Cheri Bustos (IL-17) to introduce legislation which would reinstate the flexibility that was provided by Loebsack’s provision in 2008.

·         Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act Loebsack was a cosponsor of this bill, which will save American taxpayers $61 billion by making the student loan process more efficient.  The bill further expanded the maximum Pell Grant available from $5,550 in 2010 to $5,975 in 2017, granting Iowa students more than $291 million for higher education. This bill was the largest single investment in student aid in America’s history, and will make college more accessible, transform the way student loan programs operate and strengthens community colleges.

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