House Republicans Ignore Critical Issues, Putting Nation’s Families and Economy at Risk

For Immediate Release:

June 25, 2013

After House Republicans’ deep divisions led to the failure of the Farm bill last week, Congress has less than one week remaining before the July 4th district work period to address several crucial issues. Here’s a look at legislation that the Republican leadership should bring to the House Floor for consideration, but instead continues to ignore:

STUDENT LOANS

House Republicans continue to refuse to work towards a bipartisan solution that can be signed into law that protects students from seeing their interest rates double in less than a week:

  • Unless Congress takes action, on July 1, student loan interest rates are set to double from 3.4% to 6.8%, impacting 7.4 million students across the country.
  • Failure to prevent student loan interest rates from doubling will cost a student borrower $1,000, adding $4.3 billion to students’ debt burden for next year’s loans alone, according to the Committee on Education and the Workforce Democrats.
  • The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau estimates that there are 38 million people with student loans in the United States and the total debt of borrowers has passed $1.1 trillion.

BUDGET

House Republicans have refused to finish work on a budget and are allowing sequester cuts to continue:

  • It has been 96 days since the House passed a budget and 94 days since the Senate passed their budget, yet House Republicans still won’t appoint conferees to finish work on a budget that replaces the sequester. 
  • Without a budget agreement, the House Appropriations Committee has moved forward with setting committee spending levels in accordance with the extreme Ryan budget levels.
  • The Ryan budget sets discretionary spending levels $91 billion less than the Budget Control Act caps, and boosts defense spending at the expense of other domestic programs including education and environmental protection.

The New York Times offered a scathing description of the House Republicans’ fiscal priorities:

“The most shameful achievement of the House Republican majority has been the elimination of $1.5 trillion in discretionary spending through 2022, which has already held back the economy from substantial growth and done real damage to people and communities that depend on government dollars. … The 2014 spending bills now emerging from the House Appropriations Committee are worse than in any previous year and would make some programs and departments unrecognizable.” [New York Times Editorial, 6/23]

JOB CREATION

Instead of working to promote job creation, Republicans have wasted time on partisan and divisive messaging bills that won’t advance in the Senate:

  • More than 150 days into the 113th Congress, the House Republican leadership has refused to bring any jobs legislation to the Floor.
  • According to a recent Morning Joe/Marist poll, 64% of Americans say job creation is their top priority.
  • House Republicans have instead wasted time on partisan message bills, including: the Pain Capable Unborn Child Protection Act, an attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act for the 37th time.

The American people are waiting for action on these issues, and Democrats are ready to work on bipartisan solutions.

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