By a vote of 221-198, House Republicans continued to destroy their party by passing a bill that would raise student loan rates.
Nine Republicans voted against the bill, and two Democrats voted for it. House Republicans tried to disguise their plan to raise student loan interest rates as saving the student loan program by making it a part of the “free market.” What House Republicans passed is a variable rate scheme where a student’s loan rate would be reset every year, so that the loan rate the student paid as a freshman would likely increase each year until they graduated.
The Washington Post reported that the bill would cause the interest rate on a Stafford Loan to double, “Students who max out their subsidized Stafford loans over four years would pay $8,331 in interest payments under the Republican bill, and $3,450 if rates were kept at 3.4 percent. If rates were allowed to double in July, that amount would be $7,284 over the typical 10-year window to repay the maximum $19,000.”
The point of this bill wasn’t to save the student loan program, but to kill it. The Republican goal is to turn student loans back over to the banks. By turning student loans into variable rate loans, House Republicans are laying the groundwork for the big banks to make huge profits off of students should they get their hands on student loans again.
President Obama has already threatened to veto the bill, but Senate Democrats should bury it before it ever has the chance to hit his desk.
Votes like this one are what is destroying the Republican Party.
Republicans can’t be serious about courting young voters and their parents while passing legislation that makes a college education less affordable, or in the worst case scenario unobtainable for many Americans.
The contrast is obvious. President Obama and the Democrats frequently discuss ways to make higher education more available and affordable as Republicans vote to impose economic barriers of exclusion that would only aid their corporate benefactors.
The message from House Republicans to the middle class is clear. The American Dream is dead for you. Forget about advancing through education. Shoot for being a manager at Wal-Mart, because in our America you have to pay to play.
That mentality makes for a terrible campaign slogan, and it’s why disapproval of the Republican Party has reached 59%.
House Republicans are offering most Americans a message of rejection and alienation. In short, they are the self destruct button that keeps blowing up their party.
Mr. Easley is the founder/managing editor and Senior White House and Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA.Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association