|House Meets At:||First Vote Predicted:||Last Vote Predicted:|
9:00 a.m.: Legislative Business
|11:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m.||12:00 – 1:00 p.m.|
**Members are advised that the Rule for H.R. 4628 was adopted yesterday. The Rules committee recommended a closed Rule that provides for one hour of general debate equally divided between the Chair and Ranking Member of the Committee on Education and Workforce. The Rule allows one motion to recommit and waives all points of order against the legislation. The Rule allows for H.R. 4628 to be taken up in less than 72 hours, which violates numerous promises made by the GOP majority.
H.R. 4628 – Interest Rate Reduction Act (Rep. Biggert – Education and Workforce) (One Hour of debate) The bill postpones the 3.4% student loan interest rate increase for one year. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) estimates this one year extension of the 3.4% rate would cost $6 billion. The cost is offset in the bill by repealing the Prevention and Public Health Fund that was provided for in the Affordable Care Act (ACA). House Republicans are attempting to reverse course after feeling pressure to take action to maintain student loan interest rates at 3.4% for another year. However, the offset used in this bill -- repealing the Prevention and Public Health Fund -- is a strictly partisan proposal that needlessly politicizes what should be a bipartisan effort. The fact that this offset far exceeds the amount of preventing the interest rate hike shows that Republicans are not working in good faith to help students and their families, but are rather using this situation to continue their efforts to repeal pieces of the Affordable Care Act.
The Prevention and Public Health Fund assists state and community efforts to prevent illness and promote health, so that all Americans can lead longer, more productive lives. Last year, funding went to 61 communities and states, benefitting 120 million people. Nearly 800 public health, prevention and other health and wellness advocates strongly oppose repeal of this fund. Repealing this funding erodes a key component of the ACA that is making health care more affordable and accessible for all Americans.
Democrats remain committed to preventing an increase in student loan costs for over 7.4 million Americans and are working hard to ensure legislation is sent to the President's desk well in advance of the July 1 deadline, when rates are scheduled to go up. But Democrats do not believe that it should be done by eliminating funding for childhood immunizations and screening programs for breast and cervical cancer and birth defects. Members are urged to VOTE NO.
Background for H.R. 4628:
CRS Report - Federal Student Loans Made Under the Federal Family Education Loan Program and the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program: Terms and Conditions for Borrowers
Suspensions (2 Bills)
|The Daily Quote|
“’Blah, blah, blah, blah.’-- House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, on a warning that President Obama will veto any of the annual 2013 spending bills that cut department and agency budgets below the levels set in last year's [Budget Control Act]”- National Journal, 4/26/12