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Education & Labor Committee Republicans

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Kline Responds to Administration’s Statement on House Republican Student Loan Bill

House Committee on Education and the Workforce Chairman John Kline (R-MN) today released the following statement after the Obama administration threatened to veto H.R. 1911, the Smarter Solutions for Students Act:

I’m disappointed the administration has threatened to veto the Smarter Solutions for Students Act. The legislation is based on the president’s own proposal, and provides a solid basis for negotiation through the legislative process.

The administration wanted a long-term solution that put the market – not Congress – in charge of setting student loan interest rates, and that’s exactly what the Smarter Solutions for Students Act will do.

The administration wanted to prevent student loan interest rates from doubling in July, and H.R. 1911 accomplishes that goal as well. In fact, most borrowers will see their interest rates drop by as much as 2 percent if this bill is enacted this summer.

The administration wanted to protect students against higher interest rates. The Smarter Solutions For Students Act includes a reasonable cap to keep interest rates from climbing too high and allows students to consolidate their loans into a low fixed rate upon graduation.

Finally, the administration wanted a proposal that was budget neutral, and H.R. 1911 generates roughly the same 10 year savings as President Obama’s own plan.

Today’s announcement proves the president would rather pick a partisan fight with Congress instead of work in good faith on a bipartisan solution. The president’s unfortunate position does not alter our intent to advance the bill through the legislative process or our resolve to develop a long-term solution that both the House and the president can support.

At a hearing in the Education and the Workforce Committee, Secretary Duncan offered his support for a long-term solution to address the student loan interest rate problem. His remarks can be viewed here.

The Smarter Solutions for Students Act (H.R. 1911) would take politicians out of the business of calculating student loan interest rates by moving all federal student loans (except Perkins Loans) to a new interest rate formula based on the 10-year Treasury Note, similar to a proposal put forth in President Obama’s Fiscal Year 2014 budget plan. To learn more about H.R. 1911, visit edworkforce.house.gov/SmarterSolutions.

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