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

Harkin Statement on Senate Failure to Adopt Student Loan Rate Fix

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

WASHINGTON—Today, Senator Tom Harkin (D-IA), Chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, released the following statement after a Harkin-sponsored measure that would return federal student loan interest rates to 3.4 percent for one year failed to clear a procedural hurdle in the Senate.

“I am deeply disappointed that my Republican colleagues have again voted down our attempt to keep student loans affordable for borrowers. With college costs rising and student debt at historic levels, now more than ever, we must ensure that students are able to afford a college education. Any plan that ties student loan interest rates to the market but omits the historical front-end cap on loans—designed to protect students should interest rates skyrocket—cannot and will not be passed by this Senate.

“I firmly believe that we should not rush to put into place a plan that we have not fully examined, but remain willing to continue negotiating towards a solution, and I am hopeful that we can work together in a bipartisan way to develop a plan that keeps interest rates affordable for students not only now, but in the future.”

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