Cramer Statement on Senate Passage of Student Loan Bill
Washington, D.C. – Today Congressman Kevin Cramer issued the following statement in response to the U.S. Senate reaching an agreement on a student loan bill more than three weeks after interest rates doubled:
“I am grateful the Senate has finally acted in passing a bill very similar to the House version. I urge House Leadership to take up the bill and move this to conference committee to provide the needed certainty for our students. Then we need to get beyond the discussion of interest rates to focus on the larger issue of rising tuition and student debt. I suspect the federal takeover of the student loan market is helping drive tuition costs up. This underlying problem must be addressed.”
The interest rate for subsidized Stafford loans doubled from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on July 1 when the Senate failed to reach an agreement before the deadline. In May, the House passed the Smarter Solutions for Students Act, which will implement a market-based interest rate for all federal student loans, with the exception of Perkins loans, based on the 10-year U.S. Treasury Note. To provide greater certainty, Stafford loans are capped at 8.5 percent and graduate student and parent PLUS loans are capped at 10.5 percent.