Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01) released the following statement after voting for H.R. 1911, the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act of 2013, which passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 392-31:
“Today, I am proud to stand with students by voting to lower the interest rates on federal student loans. While this bill will provide immediate relief to tens of thousands of New Mexico students, it is a short-term fix, not a long-term solution.
“Moving forward, Congress must work to address the soaring cost of college and reign in student loan debt as part of the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act. The reality is that Americans are now saddled with $1.2 trillion of student loan debt. This excessive debt burdens households and prevents economic growth.
“The cost of college is increasing at an alarming rate, keeping higher education out of reach for far too many. Graduating from college is one of the best indicators of future economic success, and we should be doing everything in our power to make college more accessible and more affordable for all New Mexicans and Americans.”
On July 1, the interest rate on federally subsidized Stafford student loans doubled from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent, impacting 46,104 undergraduate students in New Mexico. Last week, the United States Senate passed H.R. 1911 by a vote of 81-18. The legislation now goes to President Obama’s desk for his signature.