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Secretary Duncan Joins House Republicans in Support for Long-Term Solution to Student Loan Interest Rates

The House Committee on Education and the Workforce, chaired by Rep. John Kline (R-MN), today held a hearing with Education Secretary Arne Duncan to examine the administration’s budget and policy proposals. During the hearing, members spoke with Secretary Duncan about the need to address the upcoming student loan interest rate cliff with a lasting solution that will better serve students and taxpayers.

 “The committee recently approved with bipartisan support the Smarter Solutions for Students Act,” said Chairman Kline, “legislation that mirrors the president’s proposal to tie student loan interest rates to the 10-year Treasury note… I hope the administration will work with us to move this bill quickly through the legislative process and into the president’s hands before the interest rate cliff hits millions of students on July 1st.”

In an exchange with Chairman Kline, Secretary Duncan affirmed his support for enacting a long-term solution to the student loan interest rate issue “sooner rather than later”:

We have to start taking on tough issues, we have to take them on in a bipartisan way and we have to think for the long haul… The fact that we can’t think long-term, the fact that we can’t take a tough issue deal with it, move it off the table move onto other issues, I just don’t understand that thinking. So we are interested in a long-term fix, we are interested in it being budget-neutral and look forward to continue conversations with you and others to find some common ground.

The Smarter Solutions for Students Act (H.R. 1911) will be up for consideration by the U.S. House of Representatives later this week. To learn more about the legislation, visit

To read witness testimony, opening statements, or watch an archived webcast of today’s hearing, visit

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