By Brandon Moseley
Alabama Political Reporter
On Wednesday, Congresswoman Martha Roby (R) from Montgomery called on Senate leaders to rise above politics and pass legislation to address student loan interest rates, which are doubling all over the country, due to the inability of the two Houses to reach an agreement.
Representative Roby wrote, “We’ve known for more than a year that we needed to deal with the student loan issue. That’s why the House acted earlier this year to pass a long-term solution to the student loan problem that gets Washington out of the business of setting rates. Now, almost a week since the deadline has passed, Senate Democrats are still stammering aimlessly around the issue while American students are trying to figure out how to pay for college.”
Rep. Roby said, “The student loan issue is just one part of the larger problem of college affordability. The Smarter Solutions Act is an important first step toward breaking the government of some bad habits it has developed on student loans, habits which even the White House agrees we need to stop. Simply slapping a one-year band-aid on this issue does nothing to remedy the systemic problem and sends the wrong message to young borrowers.”
Rep. Roby concluded, “This doesn’t have to be a partisan issue. In fact, even the White House has supported reform that ties student loan rates to the ten-year Treasury note. It’s time for Senate leaders to rise above political stubbornness and pass a real solution on student loan rates.”
Rep. Roby is calling on Senate leaders to stop blocking passage of the House bill which would fix the interest rate issue. Roby’s statement called the Smarter Solutions Act, “a long-term, market-based plan to get Washington politics out of setting student loan interest rates for good.”
Roby’s statement said that the Smarter Solutions Act would move away from a system that allows Washington politicians to use student loan interest rates as bargaining chips, creating uncertainty and confusion for borrowers.
Because the House and the Senate can not agree on conflicting plans, on July 1 deadline, the interest rate on new Stafford Loans has doubled from 3.4 to 6.8 percent. Rep. Roby said that with rates already doubled the time for political bickering is over.
The leadership in the Republican controlled House and in the Democratic controlled Senate are increasingly polarized toward their political and ideological extremes and very legislation has actually reached President Obama’s desk this year, meanwhile millions of student loan borrowers are going to have to start paying more for their student loans.