Washington, D.C.- Today, Congressman Howard “Buck” McKeon voted on H.R. 4628, The Interest Rate Reduction Act, legislation that would prevent a scheduled July 1st interest rate hike on certain federal student loans. Under a 2007 statute, the interest rate on subsidized Stafford loans to undergraduate students was phased down from 6.8% to 3.4%, but interest rates are scheduled to return to previous levels unless Congress acts. This legislation would extend lower rates for an additional year. H.R. 4682 pays for this extension by repealing the “Prevention and Public Health Fund,” an Obama Care grant program that has become little more than a multi-billion dollar slush fund for the President to spend on his own priorities. H.R. 4682 redirects these resources to student loan relief and deficit reduction.
“In this tough economy where college graduates are struggling to find jobs and are facing some of the toughest economic obstacles our nation has seen, it is important that Washington doesn’t add to the hurt these students are already feeling,” said Congressman McKeon. “The president has visited various battleground states urging Congress to prevent an interest rate spike his party set in motion in 2007. But now that House Republicans are taking action, Washington Democrats have decided to dangerously politicize this issue and distort the facts. It seems Democrats in Washington will find any excuse to pick a political fight and protect Obama Care, even if it means raising interest rates on America’s struggling college graduates. It is my hope that the Democrat controlled Senate and the White House do the right thing and don’t chose to support wasteful government spending over these young people.”