Washington, D.C. – Congressional Progressive Caucus Co-Chairs Reps. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) and Keith Ellison (D-MN) released the following statement today on H.R. 1911, a Republican bill that would set the federal student loan rate 2.5 percent higher than the interest rate of 10-year treasury bonds, thereby increasing the cost of student loans:

“Students who work hard to get a college education should not be saddled with a lifetime of crushing debt. The latest Republican proposal would make getting a college education more expensive. College education is already too expensive. Why are Republicans trying to make it more costly to attend college?

“In June, the student loan interest rate will double from 3.4% to 6.8%. Under the Republican ‘fix,’ when next year’s college freshmen start repaying their loans after they graduate, the interest rate on their college loan is projected to be 7.4%. Meanwhile, the world’s biggest banks borrow money from the government at an interest rate of 1% or lower.                                                                                                    

“We should be helping students go to college. We shouldn’t charge students more to borrow for college than we charge banks. We support Senator Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) and Rep. John Tierney’s (D-MA) bill to tie the student loan interest rate to the current Federal Reserve lending rate.

“Education continues to be the gateway to the American Dream. At a time when more and more of our nation’s wealth goes to corporate profits instead of middle class wages, the Republican scheme continues handouts to Wall Street at millions of students’ expense.”