Tri-Caucus on GOP's Increase in Student Loans

May 23, 2013 Issues: Education

Washington, D.C.: Today, Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) Chair Judy Chu (CA-27), Congressional Hispanic Caucus Chair Rubén Hinojosa (TX-15), and Chairwoman Marcia Fudge (OH-11) of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), released the following statements in regards to H.R. 1911, which would attempt to reduce the federal deficit by saddling students and parents with additional student loan interest charges. According to the Congressional Budget Office, the bill would charge millions of students and families $3.7 billion over the next decade, in additional interest payments relative to current law.

Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27), CAPAC Chair:
“This misguided attempt at deficit reduction is not just unfair – it’s flat out wrong. H.R. 1911 undercuts the aspirations of students to pay down a federal debt that they had no role in creating. Student loans exist to help the youth of today cultivate the skills to become the leaders of tomorrow. By saddling them with added debt right out of the starting gate, Congress is making it harder for these students to achieve the American dream and contribute to the good of our nation. Education is an investment in our future. This bill would make that investment harder for countless Americans while attempting to balance our budget on the backs of those who can least afford it.”

Rep. Rubén Hinojosa (TX-15), CHC Chair:
"There is no substitute for a quality education and for Hispanics, the importance of education is culturally engrained. In fact, the number of Hispanic high school students entering a two- or four-year college in 2013 skyrocketed to 69%, according to the Pew Hispanic Center. Clearly, now is not the time to burden these young minds, who are hopeful to join to the workforce, with prohibitive and cumbersome loans that can hinder their potential. Let's help our country's youth with the necessary resources so that they can fully contribute to society."

Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11), CBC Chair:
“Congress has a responsibility to ensure federal assistance for education is both accessible and affordable. This bill will force students and their parents to pay exorbitant interest rates for their education. This bill is being used as a tool to pay down the deficit while there are other viable sources of revenue and cuts that need to be considered. With passage of H.R. 1911, this Congress continues the trend of attempting to address our nation’s fiscal problems on the backs of those who are most in need of our assistance and support. Students use these loans to improve their lives through education. We talk about creating ladders of opportunity, but this creates a ladder to inconceivable debt. The Congressional Black Caucus opposes this bill. It is neither the answer to fixing our deficit or helping our students achieve their version of the American Dream.”

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The Congressional Tri-Caucus includes the Congressional Black Caucus, Congressional Hispanic Caucus and Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus. The objectives of the Congressional Tri-Caucus are to promote the public health and well-being through legislative action, social outreach, and political engagement. To this end, the Tri-Caucus seeks to preserve our Nation’s commitment to fair and equitable treatment to all Americans. The Tri-Caucus has worked together for over a decade to ensure that the Congressional legislative agenda reflects the health challenges of all Americans.