Congressional vote could make TN residents pay more in student loans while
millionaires get new tax breaks
“This budget plan makes it harder for families to pay for college in Tennessee. This is the largest cut to federal student financial aid in history. That’s bad news for students and their parents who are struggling to pay for rising tuition costs and debt. Republican leaders say these cuts are necessary to curb spending, but they’re also pushing to hand massive tax breaks to their campaign contributors. This isn’t a money problem. It’s a Republican values problem.”
–Toby Chaudhuri, Campaign for America’s Future Communications Director
Tennessee students could have to pay $1758 more for college loans if Congress passes a measure Wednesday to cut spending, according to a new report released today by the research arm of the Campaign for America’s Future.
Campaign for America’s Future co-director Robert Borosage said our nation has a responsibility to provide an affordable college degree to every child in Tennessee.
“This bill will make it harder for students from working families to go to college,” said Borosage. “This measure makes deep and harmful cuts to student loans that will not even pay for the new tax breaks planned for the wealthy.”
The legislation, pushed by the White House and congressional Republican leaders, imposes the largest cuts in student loan programs ever. The House will vote on it around Feb. 1. The measure passed the Senate by the narrowest of margins, 51-50, with Vice President Cheney casting the deciding vote.
The proposal includes a $12.7 billion cut in student loan aid, the largest cuts in history, and locks in higher fixed interest rates on student and parent loans. While college costs soar and Pell grants remain capped at $4,050 for the fourth straight year, student debt levels have doubled in the last ten years and are likely to rise even higher.
During a question-and-answer session with students at Kansas State University, sophomore Tiffany Cooper asked President Bush how $12.7 billion in recently proposed student loan cuts would help her future. President Bush said he preferred to call it “reform” of the student loan program and inaccurately said that reduction in costs would not affect students.
The bill locks in higher rates for student and parent loans and lawmakers have rejected proposals to retain a dramatically lower interest rate.