The U.S. House of Representatives today approved the Smarter Solutions for Students Act (H.R. 1911), legislation that will prevent subsidized Stafford loans from doubling on July 1st. Introduced by Education and the Workforce Committee Chairman John Kline (R-MN) and Higher Education and Workforce Training Subcommittee Chairwoman Virginia Foxx (R-NC), H.R. 1911 reflects President Obama's request for a long-term, market-based solution to the student loan issue.
"Today the House has taken action to prevent interest rates from doubling on millions of student loan borrowers," said Chairman Kline. "President Obama asked for a long-term, market-based solution and that is precisely what we have delivered. It is now up to the Senate to move forward with its own ideas to solve the problem, so we can come together and send a bill to the president. The American people sent us here to tackle tough issues, not kick the can down the road. The time to act is now. Students, families, and taxpayers cannot afford further delay."
"Campaign promises and political posturing should not play a role in the calculation of student loan interest rates," said Rep. Foxx. "As we've seen, Washington's involvement in the rate-setting equation is a recipe for uncertainty and confusion. Borrowers deserve better. The Smarter Solution for Students Act puts an end to the temporary fixes that have failed to strengthen our nation's student loan system and offers simplicity, rate caps and an assurance that interest rates are immediately in line with the free market -- a need particularly acute in this jobless economy. If President Obama and Senate Democrats are serious about a long-term solution to the student loan interest rate problem, they will immediately consider and build on the ideas put forth in the Smarter Solutions for Students Act ."
The House also recently approved the Improving Postsecondary Education Data for Students Act (H.R. 1949). Sponsored by Rep. Luke Messer (R-IN), the legislation will help enhance transparency in higher education.
"Few decisions in life are bigger than whether to attend college and which college to attend," said Rep. Messer. "Yet many families find it a challenge to wade through the complicated maze of statistics available for this important decision. Through this bill, we hope to simplify the process and help students get access to the information they really need to make good decisions while lessening the burden on colleges and universities that have far too many reporting requirements today."
"I want to thank Representative Messer for his leadership on the legislation," said Chairman Kline. "In the coming months, the committee will continue the important task of reauthorizing the Higher Education Act. Information is critical as families and students plan for college. We have to find better ways to give them the information they need without burying schools in paperwork. This legislation will help strengthen that effort and I look forward to working with all my colleagues on this issue."
To learn more about H.R. 1911, visit edworkforce.house.gov/smartersolutions
To learn more about H.R. 1949, visit edworkforce.house.gov/betterdata