Mariel Saez, 202-225-3130
WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) spoke on the House Floor today in opposition to House Republicans' student loan bill. See below for his remarks and a link to the video:
Click here to watch the video.
”I served on the Labor and Health Committee for 23 years. Bill Natcher from Kentucky used to say this: if you take care of the health of your people and invest in the education of your young people, you'll continue to be the strongest and best nation on the face of the Earth.
“I agreed with the gentleman from Kentucky then, and I agree with him now. Everybody says on this Floor – although everybody didn't vote that way – Mr. Boehner voted against this reduction in interest rates, Mr. Cantor voted against this reduction in interest rates, and Mr. Kline voted in 2007 against this reduction in interest rates.
“What we are saying is we need to invest. We talk about subsidies. This [preventing an increase in student loan interest rates] isn't a subsidy, this is an investment in a better, stronger, more growing America. That's what this is. But what do we say? Natcher said: ‘remember, if we take care of the health of our people…’ This [bill] undermines the health of our people.
“It takes away preventive assistance so that women, families, children can get preventive care which so many Republicans have said is a more efficient and effective cost saving way to address the health of our country. Bill Natcher was right – a conservative Democrat from Kentucky who said: if you take care of the health of your people and educate your young people, you will be the strongest nation on Earth.
“This bill goes in the wrong direction trying to do the right thing. Let us reject this bill and, if in fact you are for investing in our young people and bringing these interest rates down, which is so absolutely essential, then bring back a bill you know will pass, because you know this bill will not pass. The President has issued a Statement of Administration Policy that says he will veto this bill, because they do not want to undermine the health of women, family, and children while at the same time they want to invest in the college education for our country, young people, and our future.
“Reject this bill. Bring back a new bill, the Courtney bill, which does in fact, invest in our children and take care of the health of our people.”