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MIKULSKI STATEMENT ON REPUBLICAN VOTE TO HIKE FEDERAL STUDENT LOAN RATES ON JULY 1

05.29.12

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 24, 2012

CONTACT:

Rachel MacKnight

Matt Jorgenson

202-228-1122

MIKULSKI STATEMENT ON REPUBLICAN VOTE TO HIKE FEDERAL STUDENT LOAN RATES ON JULY 1

Senate Republicans Continue Filibuster of Bill to Prevent Doubling of Student Loan Rates for 103,000 Maryland Students

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) today expressed her strong disappointment that Senate Republicans continued their filibuster of the Stop the Student Loan Interest Rate Hike Act of 2012. Senator Mikulski cosponsored the legislation to prevent federal student loan interest rates from doubling for more than 103,000 Maryland students on July 1st.

“I believe in America’s opportunity ladder, and higher education is an important rung on that ladder,” Senator Mikulski said. “It’s outrageous that Senate Republicans continue to stand in the way of much needed relief for middle-class families being squeezed by rising tuition costs.”

Republicans have repeated their demand that tax cuts for billionaires do not need to be paid for, while insisting that this bill to prevent a $1,000 a year rate hike for students be paid for by stripping away access to health care.

“I’m appalled that while Senate Republicans protect tax breaks and loopholes for billionaires and corporations that ship jobs overseas, their take it or leave it approach today would have stripped millions of Americans of life-saving preventive healthcare,” Senator Mikulski said. “I’ll continue to fight so that every student has access to the American dream and ensure that when they graduate, their first mortgage isn’t their student debt.”

As the cost of a college education continues to rise, this increase will add $1,000 to the cost of these loans for millions of Americans and will further squeeze middle class families already fighting to afford college. Without this legislation, interest rates on federal student loans will double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. Republicans voted against the legislation in order to protect a tax loophole that allows the wealthy to avoid paying employment taxes on a significant portion of their income.

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