Republicans Target Seniors, Middle Class in Budget, Play Political Games with Student Loan Bill

For Immediate Release:

April 27, 2012

MESSAGE FROM THE DEMOCRATIC WHIP

This week, I was disappointed that Republicans chose to play political games instead of taking real, serious action to prevent student loan interest rates from going up.  On July 1, the interest rates on subsidized Stafford student loans are slated to double from 3.4% to 6.8%, and if Congress fails to take action, over 7.4 million students will be affected. Republicans only brought a bill to the Floor this week after extensive pressure from Democrats on the issue. But instead of working with Democrats on bipartisan legislation, Republicans instead tried to score political points by including a controversial provision that eliminates funding for preventive and wellness services in order to pay for their bill. We must prevent interest rates from doubling, but not by undermining health care for middle-class and working families. I hope Republicans will abandon their partisan stance, and work with Democrats on a bipartisan solution to keep higher education affordable for millions of students and their families.

House Republicans also outlined additional details of their extreme budget that ends the Medicare guarantee, hurts our economy, and cuts taxes for the wealthy. In Committee hearings, Republicans voted for spending cuts that would put 300,000 children at risk of losing health insurance coverage and undermine critical health and wellness programs that have benefitted approximately 120 million Americans. They also targeted federal employees by cutting their gross pay by 5%, at a time when federal employees are already experiencing effects of a two-year pay freeze. Republicans ask the middle class and most vulnerable among us to contribute to deficit reduction, but refuse to ask the wealthiest Americans to do so as well.

Sincerely yours,

STENY H. HOYER

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