ALBANY, N.Y. – Congressman Paul Tonko and school officials will join concerned educators, parents and college students Monday to call on Congress to pass legislation that would maintain lowered rates of federal student loans, which are already set to double to 6.8 percent beginning Monday.
After a compromise to keep student loan interest rates low failed to advance, Tonko will urge lawmakers to take Congressional action. He will be available to deliver brief remarks and field questions at the 10:30 press conference being held at the Campus Center Assembly Hall at the University at Albany.
"During tough economic times, we must foster an environment for college graduates that gives them the best possible chance at success," Tonko said. "Congress must work out a long-term plan that will provide our future leaders with opportunity as they begin the next stage in their lives."
Tonko is a cosponsor of the Student Loan Relief Act of 2013, which would freeze federal student loan rates at the current low of 3.4 percent.
On May 23, House Republicans passed passed a bill that that ties student loan interest rates to market-based rates. The House passed the bill despite a statement from the Senate Majority that the chamber would not take up the legislationa and White House veto threat, claiming that it "would impose the largest interest-rate increases on low- and middle-income students."
A previous attempt in the Senate to extend rates for two years failed to overcome a procedural hurdle.