Loebsack to House Leaders: Stop $1,000 Increase on Iowa Students PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Education & Schools
Written by Joe Hand   
Tuesday, 04 June 2013 13:25

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Dave Loebsack today called on House leaders, Speaker John Boehner and Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, to work to bring legislation to the floor that can be passed by both Chambers and signed into law 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, that average borrower’s debt would increase by $1,000.  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.

“If the interest rates are allowed to rise, the average borrower’s debt would increase by $1,000.  As Iowa borrowers have some of the highest student loan debt in the nation, this increase will have a disproportionate effect on the students and families I represent,” Loebsack wrote to House Leaders. “We need to address student loan debt in the interest of our economy.  We must prepare our students for the kind of middle class jobs that will drive our economic recovery forward.  Our graduates are not able to fully participate in our economy by purchasing cars or homes or starting a family when they are saddled with insurmountable student loan debt.”

A copy of the letter can be found here.

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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