US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions

Wrong Answer For Student Loans: Fewer Choices, More Bureaucracy HELP Committee Ranking Member Enzi Concerned About President’s Student Lending Plan

Tuesday, July 28, 2009Craig Ortfield (202) 224-6770

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senator Mike Enzi (R-Wyo.), Ranking Member of the SenateHealth, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee commented today on ananalysis from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) that reveals significantly lesssavings than previously promised under President Obama’s proposed mandate that allstudent loans come from the federal government by elimination of the Federal FamilyEducation Loan program (FFEL).

“In these times when families are making great financial sacrifices to pay for collegeeducation expenses, Congress should not eliminate financial aid choices,” said Enzi.“The more we learn about the fiscal implications of a government student loanmonopoly, the more reason there is to be concerned. Each CBO analysis bringsreduced savings and increased uncertainty. What do we gain from scrapping aprogram that has helped millions of students over the past 40 years get a collegeeducation? Eliminating choices doesn’t reduce the cost of college or provide thenecessary services students need once they graduate and start repaying their loans.”

“Competition and free market solutions increase access to lending options for studentsand improve customer service,” added Enzi. “It’s plain old common sense thatbottlenecking the only source of student loans at the Treasury Department inWashington, DC is a bad idea and leaves serious questions regarding how we aregoing to pay for these proposed new programs.”

The letter from CBO was sent to Senate Budget Committee Ranking Member, JuddGregg (R-NH), in response to his request for analysis of President Obama’s proposalthat would mandate all student loans to be offered through the U.S Dept. of theTreasury and the Direct Student Loan Program.

The President’s proposal has been incorporated into H.R. 3221, the Student Aid andFiscal Responsibility Act of 2009, which the House is expected to vote on this week.

# # #

More Press from the Ranking Member