Huffman Votes NO on GOP Bill That Would Increase Student Debt by $3.7 Billion

May 23, 2013

WASHINGTON­—Today, Congressman Jared Huffman voted against H.R. 1911, a Republican bill that would make college more expensive for students and middle class families, forcing them into loans with skyrocketing interest rates.

“This Republican student loan bill is a dangerous bait and switch scheme that will charge students and families nearly $4 billion more in higher interest payments for their loans,” Congressman Huffman said. We need a long-term solution that ensures higher education is affordable and accessible for all American students.”

The Republican bill, H.R. 1911, is even worse for students and families than allowing interest rates to double from 3.4% to 6.8%, as they are set to do on July 1 if no action is taken by Congress. According to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service, the bill would force some students to pay nearly $2,000 more in interest costs than if interest rates were allowed to double. According to the independent Congressional Budget Office, the legislation approved by the House would charge students and families an additional $3.7 billion over the next decade in interest payments relative to current law.

Congressman Huffman is a cosponsor of a Democratic alternative (H.R. 1595), which would block student loans from doubling. The Democratic bill continues to allow college students and their families to benefit from historically low interest rates by freezing the current low 3.4 percent rate on subsidized Stafford loans for the next two years.

Huffman is also a cosponsor of H.R. 1527, legislation to increase the tax deduction for student loan interest, and H.R. 1738, legislation to permanently extend the tax credit that covers expenses such as tuition, fees, and course materials.