Letter to Eric Cantor, Majority Leader of the U.S. House of Representatives


By: Hansen Clarke, Steve Rothman, Jim McDermott, Raul Grijalva, Grace Napolitano, Dave Loebsack, David Cicilline, Peter DeFazio, Bruce Braley, Mazie Hirono, Maurice Hinchey, Lucille Roybal-Allard, Sheila Jackson Lee, Bobby Rush, John Olver, Dennis Kucinich, Chris Murphy, Bill Keating, Kilili Sablan, Ed Towns, Mike Capuano, Jan Schakowsky, Rosa DeLauro, Gwen Moore, Lynn Woolsey, Anna Eshoo, Keith Ellison, Betty Sutton, Barbara Lee, Albio Sires, Charlie Gonzalez, Carolyn Maloney, Ed Markey, Karen Bass, Jim Moran, Jr., Gary Ackerman, André Carson, Marcia Fudge, Steve Cohen, Jesse Jackson, Jr., John Dingell, Chris Van Hollen, Jr., John Sarbanes, Rubén Hinojosa, Sr., Suzanne Bonamici, Louise Slaughter, Jim McGovern, John Yarmuth, Sanford Bishop, Jr., Jim Langevin, G. K. Butterfield, Jr., Betty McCollum, Nick Rahall II, Sandy Levin, Brian Higgins, Kevin McCarthy, Gene Green, Charlie Rangel, Mike Michaud, Janice Hahn, Peter Welch, Jerry Lewis, Susan Davis, Brad Sherman, Laura Richardson, Tammy Baldwin, John Larson, Niki Tsongas, Jared Polis, Silvestre Reyes, Gregory Meeks, Dale Kildee, Bob Brady, Maxine Waters, Earl Blumenauer, Henry Cuellar, Danny Davis, Adam Schiff, Gary Peters, Joe Crowley, Russ Carnahan, Jackie Speier, Jerry Nadler, Rush Holt, Jr., Chellie Pingree, Mark Critz, Bobby Scott, Frank Pallone, Jr., Eleanor Norton, Lois Capps, Sam Farr, Gerry Connolly, Madeleine Bordallo, Doris Matsui, Allyson Schwartz, Kurt Schrader, Yvette Clarke, John Conyers, Jr., Rick Larsen, George Miller, John Tierney, Joe Courtney
Date: June 7, 2012
Location: Washington, DC

The Honorable Eric Cantor
Majority Leader
U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, DC 20515-6502

Dear Majority Leader Cantor:

We took note that your recent memorandum outlining the House's "summer legislative agenda" did not include any reference to the doubling of need-based Stafford Loan interest rates that will take effect on July 1. This is deeply disappointing, as we believe millions of middle-class students and their families should have the certainty of knowing that the House will act this month to stop the doubling of this interest rate.

It was unfortunate that, rather than proceed in a bipartisan manner to prevent this interest rate from doubling, the House approved an unnecessarily political and deeply-flawed bill that will not be considered by the Senate and that has garnered a veto threat by the White House. In order to stop the interest rates for over 7 million students -- roughly one out of every three college students in the country -- from going up, it is clear the House will need to act again.

As such, we were concerned that this critical issue impacting millions of middle-class students and families was not even mentioned in your recent memorandum detailing the House's "summer legislative agenda."

Moreover, while you joined Speaker Boehner last week in publicly sending a letter to the President purporting to show an interest in further negotiations on the student loan issue, that same day it was reported that Speaker Boehner privately called the issue a "phony" fight and said it was unlikely that Congress would prevent an interest rate hike before July 1.

We trust you can confirm that the omission of student loan interest rate relief from your "summer legislative agenda" was an oversight on your part and that you share our commitment to bringing responsible legislation to the House floor in the coming weeks that will prevent interest rates from doubling.

Thank you for your attention and your anticipated response.