Alexander: Still Time For Congress To Avoid Student Loan Interest Rate Hike

Monday, July 01, 2013

The senior Republican on the U.S. Senate education committee said that if Congress acts next week, there is still time to avoid today’s automatic increase in interest rates from 3.4 to 6.8 percent on 40 percent of all new government loans for college students.  

 

Sen.

Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) said that today's rate hike “is completely unnecessary and constitutes congressional malpractice by some Democratic senators who are stubbornly holding out for a short-term political fix that only helps a minority of students.”

 

Alexander said that the Senate next week should adopt instead a bipartisan plan offered by six senators that “would save students billions of dollars in interest payments and cut rates nearly in half for all new undergraduate student loans. Why should Congress adopt a short-term political fix that only helps 40 percent of students when there is an obvious permanent solution that will reduce interest rates for every one of the 18 million new loans that 11 million students will take out this year?”

 

He said the six senators have coalesced around a common idea similar to an idea proposed by President Obama in his budget and passed by the House of Representatives in May.

 

On June 27, U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-W. Va.), Richard Burr (R-N.C.), Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), Angus King (I-Maine), and Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Alexander introduced the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act, a compromise bipartisan solution that would have prevented student loan interest rates from doubling on July 1 and provided a permanent solution that would have lowered and fixed interest rates for 100 percent of newly issued student loans.

 

The Student Loan Certainty Act requires that, for each academic year, all newly-issued student loans be set to the U.S. Treasury 10-year borrowing rate plus 1.85 percent for subsidized and unsubsidized undergraduate Stafford loans; plus 3.4 percent for graduate Stafford loans; and plus 4.4 percent for PLUS loans (offered to parents and graduate students). The interest rate would be fixed over the life of the loan and the cap on interest rates for consolidated loans would remain at 8.25 percent. The Congressional Budget Office has determined this legislation would reduce the deficit by $1 billion over ten years.


On Point Hosts First “Senior Shake” For Brainerd High School Seniors

On Friday from 10 a.m. – 1 p.m., On Point will host its first Senior Shake with approximately 75 students from Brainerd High School’s senior class.  On Point’s Senior Shake is part of a newly launched program, Graduate On Point, that’s currently being piloted at Brainerd High School.  Graduate On Point is led by Dr. Mary Rausch who works both at Brainerd High School ... (click for more)

East Hamilton To Host Assembly Honoring Teachers Who Saved Student's Life

East Hamilton Middle/High School will host an assembly this Wednesday at 9 a.m. to honor three teachers who rose to the occasion in a life-saving emergency.  Hamilton County Emergency Services will also participate by demonstrating life-saving techniques to the entire student body of the Middle School. Student Joel Ervin was cooling down after participating in a basketball ... (click for more)

Rhasean Lowry, 34, Charged In Death of 3-Year-Old Girl

Rhasean Lowry, 34, was arrested for abusing a three-year-old girl, and then criminal homicide after she died. Last Tuesday, the Chattanooga Police Department was called on a suspected child abuse case. Lowry took the victim to a local hospital and he stated the victim fell down steps. Doctors advised that the victim’s injuries were the result of blunt force trauma consistent ... (click for more)

City IDB Member Who Made Motion For $9 Million Black Creek TIF Had Not Lived In City For Years

A City Industrial Development Board (IDB) member who made the motion to approve a controversial $9 million Black Creek Tax Increment Financing (TIF) had not lived in the city for years, City Attorney Wade Hinton confirmed. Chris Ramsey, a BlueCross BlueShield official, was not present at an IDB meeting on Tuesday morning. Five other board members were. Citizen Helen Burns ... (click for more)

Decimating The Chattanooga Public Library

Corinne Hill claims that the library is just undergoing a normal weeding process for eliminating books.  She has bragged that she's responsible for the elimination of over 100,000 books - with more to go. "Normal" weeding is not rampant throwing away.  Yes, books go to the Friends for their sale - where they get $2 for a $75 book and thousands wind up being recycled ... (click for more)

The Many Lessons I Learned From Helen McDonald Exum

Helen McDonald Exum was my friend and mentor. As I think of her passing I can only imagine the celebration that is happening in heaven as the news of her arrival is being told. I am sure that there is a party that not only has she organized but that there is not a detail that has been left to chance. I am sure that it is the grandest of events, for you see, she has been planing ... (click for more)