Tag Archives: Harry Reid

Student Loan Interest Rates to Double in July

English: Harry Reid (D-NV), United States Sena...

English: Harry Reid (D-NV), United States Senator from Nevada and Majority Leader of the United States Senate (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The interest rates on federal student loans will double this summer if Congress doesn’t take action.

Millions of American students from working class families are able to get a college education thanks to low-interest federal student loans. Congress is putting those loans in jeopardy when students can least afford to pay higher interest rates.

In 2007, Congress passed the College Cost Reduction and Access Act. It reduced the interest rates on subsidized Stafford loans from 6.8% to 3.4%. Republican leadership in the House is planning to let this legislation expire on July 1, doubling the interest rates on these loans. This will result in an average of $5,000 in added payments for students scheduled to pay their loans back in five years, and $11,000 for those who are paying back in ten.

We need leadership from the Senate. We need Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to stand up and fight for millions of American students. Urge Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid to stop Republicans from doubling the interest rate on student loans.

If Senator Reid leads the Democratic-controlled Senate to pass legislation that ensures the interest rates remain fixed at 3.4%, it will force the hand of Congressional Republicans to pass the measure or go on the record as the party fighting against the interest of millions of America’s working class students and their families.

Federal student loans with low interest rates, such as the subsidized Stafford loan, are designed to help students whose families make under $40,000 a year. These loans help the neediest students, who are often not eligible to receive Pell Grants. Adding further financial stress on these students and their families by letting the interest rates double this July would be devastating.

As Sarah Jaffe observed in her excellent piece in AlterNet:

It’s worth noting, as well, that many of the big banks that make a killing on private student loans and still have billions of government-subsidized student debt on their books, are able to borrow money from the government through the Federal Reserve’s discount window at nearly no interest at all. Why, then, are young people, who aren’t guilty of trashing the economy but remain the victims of a rate of unemployment nearly twice that of the rest of the population, expected to pay more?

Click here to automatically sign the petition urging Senator Reid to fight to keep college education affordable and not let the interest rate double on federal student loans.

Thanks to Is Congress Going to Double the Interest on Your Student Loan?, Rising Concerns Over Student Loans, Public and Private, and Vermont Senators Leahy And Sanders Join Bill To Prevent July Interest Rate Increase On Stafford Student Loans.

 

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Harry Reid Refuses to Negotiate on BIll Already Passed

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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said today he will not reopen negotiations on a payroll tax cut until the House passes the extension already approved by the Senate.

 

Earlier, House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) said he expected the House to reject the tax cut bill that the Senate approved Saturday.

 

Speaker Boehner said that he expected the House to pass legislation reinforcing the need for a one-year extension, and that he wanted a House-Senate conference committee.

 

Reid said in a statement that

 

My House colleagues should be clear on what their vote means today. If Republicans vote down the bipartisan compromise negotiated by Republican and Democratic leaders, and passed by 89 senators including 39 Republicans, their intransigence will mean that in ten days, 160 million middle class Americans will see a tax increase, over two million Americans will begin losing their unemployment benefits, and millions of senior citizens on Medicare could find it harder to receive treatment from physicians.

 

The payroll tax cut extension expires at the end of the year and is worth roughly $1,000 a year for an average family.

 

 

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Senate Extends Payroll Tax, Speeds Up Keystone Pipeline Decision

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The Senate on Saturday voted to extend the payroll tax cut by two months.

 

The short-term measure comes after both sides were unable to reach a comprehensive agreement to extend the cut and unemployment benefits for a full year.

 

The deal, passed 89-10, includes a provision to speed up a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline, giving the Obama administration sixty days to make a call on the project.

 

The House still has to vote on the measure.

 

The impasse involved how to pay for the programs for a full year. However, the two-month extension would be fully paid for, according to the sources.

 

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) said Democrats supported the deal because “that was the best we could get,” as it was important to preserve the payroll tax break.

 

Failure to pass the payroll tax measure would cost working Americans an average of $1,000 in higher taxes next year.

 

Later Saturday, the Senate will take up a compromise spending bill to get the government funded for the rest of fiscal year 2012, which ends September 30.

 

 

 

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Congress Agrees to Prevent a Government Shutdown

Congressional negotiators reached an agreement that could prevent a government shutdown.

A resolution passed earlier this year to keep the government funded expires at midnight Friday. Lawmakers have approved seven stop-gap spending measures this calendar year.

Negotiators were signing off on a massive spending bill that funds the government through 2012.

Both the House and Senate must vote on it.

The deal comes after talks between congressional leaders and the White House on Thursday. They were discussing ways to resolve their differences over measures to keep the government funded and extend the payroll tax cut set to expire at the end of the year.

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President Obama to Lay Out Jobs Plan Before Congress

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President Barack Obama has sent a letter to Speaker of the House John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid requesting the opportunity to lay out his jobs plan before a joint session of Congress on September 7, 2011 at 8:00 p.m.

“It is my intention to lay out a series of bipartisan proposals that the Congress can take immediately to continue to rebuild the American economy by strengthening small businesses, helping Americans get back to work, and putting more money in the paychecks of the Middle Class and working Americans, while still reducing our deficit and getting our fiscal house in order,” the President wrote. “It is our responsibility to find bipartisan solutions to help grow our economy, and if we are willing to put country before party, I am confident we can do just that.”

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Congress Is Not in Recess, But a Pro Forma Session

Harry Reid (D-NV), United States Senator from ...

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To the country, Congress appears in recess. However, Congress is actually in pro forma session, meaning that at least one member of each chamber must show up every three days, gavel the session in, conduct whatever business must be conducted, and gavel the session back out.

Under the Constitution, neither chamber of Congress may adjourn for more than three days without the other chamber’s permission.The Senate majority leader, Harry Reid (D-NV), did not seek an adjournment resolution last week because he knew the House would not approve. (Adjournment would give President Obama an opportunity to appoint nominees without being blocked by Senate Republicans.)

During pro forma sessions, no legislation can be transacted without unanimous consent. Sen. Reid used such unanimous consent to break the impasse over the F.A.A. last week.

The shortest pro forma session on record was in 1989 and lasted less than a second.

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