Washington, D.C. - Congressman Dave Loebsack today urged the House Republican leadership to swiftly bring up and pass legislation that will prevent student loan interest rates from doubling, from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent, on July 1st. Loebsack is a cosponsor of H.R. 3826, which would ensure the increase does not occur. If the increase were to go into effect, the average student borrower would have to pay an additional $1000. Loebsack is a member of the Education and the Workforce Committee, which has jurisdiction over this legislation.
"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. I strongly believe that every student deserves the opportunity to attend college if they wish to pursue higher education," wrote Loebsack. "I grew up in poverty, and I would not have had the opportunity to attend college without financial assistance. It is extremely important that we work to address student loan interest rates because without Congressional action, 7 million low- and middle-income families will be subject to a $6 billion interest rate hike."
As a member of the 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;
- Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act, H.R. 3221 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.
A copy of the letter Loebsack sent to the House Speaker and the Chairman of the Education and the Workforce Committee can be seen here.