|00:00:00||ACROSS OUR COUNTRY.|
|00:00:01||ONE OF THE THINGS THAT HAS STRUCK ME DURING THIS DEBATE ABOUT THIS ISSUE IN THE LAST SEVERAL WEEKS AS WE HAVE TRIED TO BRING ATTENTION TO THIS ISSUE IS THAT THIS IS REALLY A MOMENT IN THE HISTORY OF OUR COUNTRY WHERE WE NEED TO RECOGNIZE MAYBE MORE THAN AT ANY OTHER TIME, THE URGENCY OF INVESTING IN EDUCATION AND ENSURING THAT YOUNG PEOPLE HAVE ACCESS TO A QUALITY EDUCATION.|
|00:00:24||AND THE IDEA THAT WE ARE IN A POSITION TO PREVENT INTEREST RATES FROM DOUBLING FROM THOSE WHO ARE BENEFITING FROM STAFFORD STUPID LOANS AND THIS CONGRESS IS POISED NOT TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT TO ME IS UNCONSCIONABLE.|
|00:00:41||THERE IS A REPORT FROM GEORGETOWN UNIVERSITY AND THEY FOUND OVER THE PERIOD FROM 2008 TO 2018, 47 MILLION JOB OPEN GOS WILL BE CREATED AND THEY WILL REQUIRE SOME LEVEL OF POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION.|
|00:01:00||IF WE ARE GOING TO CREATE JOBS AND BE SURE THAT WE HAVE YOUNG PEOPLE WHO HAVE THE SKILLS NECESSARY TO FILL THOSE JOBS IN THIS NEW KNOWLEDGE OF THE 21ST SEPTEMBER TRY, WE HAVE TO MAKE IT EASIER, NOT MORE DIFFICULT.|
|00:01:15||AND CONGRESS WISELY CUT THE RATE IN HALF.|
|00:01:20||WE HAVE TO MAKE SURE IT STAYS THERE.|
|00:01:22||I COME FROM A STATE THAT BROUGHT US THE GREAT SENATOR PELL, WHO IS THE CREATOR OF THE PELL GRANTS WHICH CONTINUES TO A OPEN THE DOOR FOR ACCESS TO EDUCATION AND UNLOCKING OPPORTUNITY AND KEYS TO SUCCESS.|
|00:01:42||WE ALL UNDERSTAND THAT NOT ONLY THE STUDENT BEEN FITS FROM THAT EDUCATION BUT WE ALL BENEFITS WHEN WE HAVE YOUNG PEOPLE WHO ARE MAKING NEW DISCOVERIES AND FINDING CURES FOR DISEASE AND INVENTING NEW PRODUCTS AND HAVE PRODUCTIVE LIVES, THIS IS A MOMENT WHEN WE HAVE TO BE SURE THAT WE ARE PROTECTING FAMILIES FROM THE CONSEQUENCES OF THIS KIND OF INTEREST RATE INCREASE, DOUBLING.|
|00:02:12||THE UNITED STATES PUBLIC INDEPENDENT RESEARCH GROUP SAYS WITHOUT CONGRESSIONAL ACTION, BORROWERS TAKING UP TO $23,000 WILL SEE IT BALLOON TO $5,200.|
|00:02:29||SO THIS IS A HUGE INCREASE FOR FAMILIES.|
|00:02:33||MANY OF WHOM IN MY STATE WHERE WE CONTINUE TO HAVE VERY HIGH UNEMPLOYMENT, SECOND HIGHEST IN THE COUNTRY, WHERE FAMILIES ARE STRUGGLING WITH THE CONSEQUENCES OF THE HOUSING CRISIS AND FINDING WORK.|
|00:02:47||WE CANNOT ALLOW THIS TO HAPPEN.|
|00:02:49||IT WILL CAUSE INCREDIBLE HARDSHIP FOR FAMILIES IN RHODE ISLAND AND MY DISTRICT.|
|00:02:55||I WAS AT ROGER WILLIAMS UNIVERSITY AND SEVERAL UNIVERSITIES, MEETING WITH YOUNG PEOPLE, ALL ARE CONCERNED WITH THE PELL GRANTS AND PROTECTING PELL GRANTS AND WHAT HAPPENS WHEN THEY GRADUATE AND HAVE STUDENT LOANS, ARE THESE KINDS OF INTEREST RATES GOING TO BE IN EXISTENCE, WHICH ARE NOT AFFORDABLE TO YOUNG PEOPLE.|
|00:03:16||AP THE IDEA THAT WE HAVE 7 DAYS, THIS IS A MOMENT WE CAN GET SOMETHING DONE.|
|00:03:20||MY FRIENDS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE AISLE DON'T SEEM IN ADDRESSING THIS ISSUE.|
|00:03:25||FOR RHODE ISLANDERS AND YOU RECENTLY HAD AND EVENT IN CONNECTICUT AND MANY OF OUR COLLEAGUES -- RALLY YOUNG PEOPLE TO DEMAND THAT THE LEGISLATION WHICH YOU SPONSORED, H.|
|00:03:38||R. 3826 AND I'M A PROUD CO-SPONSOR AND SENATOR REED IS A LEAD SPONSOR, WE HAVE TO BRING THIS TO THE FLOOR FOR A VOTE.|
|00:03:48||OUR COLLEAGUES NEED TO HEAR FROM THEIR FAMILIES IN THEIR DISTRICTS AND ALL ACROSS THIS COUNTRY, THIS IS ABOUT OUR OWN INVESTMENT IN OUR FUTURE AS A COUNTRY THAT WE BENEFIT AND YOUNG PEOPLE HAVE ACCESS TO HIGHER EDUCATION AT A TIME WHEN OUR ECONOMY IS RECOVERING AND CAN'T ALLOW OUR STUDENT LOANS TO DOUBLE AND I THANK THE GENTLEMAN FOR HIS LEADERSHIP ON THIS AND I HOPE WE WILL CONTINUE TO BEAT THE DRUMS ON THIS FOR THE NEXT 73 DAYS SO WE FORCE ACTION HERE ON THE FLOOR OF THE HOUSE FOR THE SAKE OF THE YOUNG PEOPLE AND SAKE OF OUR FUTURE AS A THRIVING AND PROSPEROUS ECONOMY.|
|00:04:27||AND I THANK YOU FOR ALLOWING ME TO SPEAK ON THIS ISSUE TONIGHT.|
|00:04:33||COURTNEY: WE HAD AN EVENT WHERE A PUBLIC RESEARCH INTEREST GROUP DROPPED OFF|
Mr. CICILLINE. I thank the gentleman from Connecticut for his extraordinary leadership on this issue, which is important to Rhode Island, but really important to students all across our country.
I think one of the things that has struck me during this debate about this issue in the last several weeks as we've tried to bring attention to this issue is that this is really a moment in the history of our country where we [Page: H1971] need to recognize--maybe more than anytime at least in my lifetime--the urgency of investing in education and of ensuring that young people have access to a quality education.
The idea that we're in a position to prevent interest rates from doubling for those who are benefiting from Stafford loans and that this Congress seems poised not to do anything about it, to me, is, as you said, unconscionable.
There was a report that was done recently, the Georgetown University Center on Education and the Workforce. They found that over the period from 2008 to 2018, about 47 million job openings will be created; and of that, more than 30 million of these jobs will require at least some level of postsecondary education.
So this is the reality for our country, that we have got to realize if we're going to create jobs and be sure that we have young people who have the skills necessary to fill those jobs in this new knowledge economy of the 21st century, we have to make it easier for people to access higher education, not more difficult.
[Time: 18:20] And Congress wisely cut the rate in half from 6.8 percent to 3.4. We have to make sure it stays there.
Now, I come from a State that brought us the great Senator Claiborne Pell, who was the creator of the Pell Grant, which created and continues to create hope and opportunity and access to education for millions and millions of Americans, really unlocking opportunity and keys to success.
We all understand that not only the student benefits from that education, but we all benefit. The community benefits when we have a well-educated group of young people that are making new discoveries, that are finding cures for diseases, that are inventing new products, that are building productive lives to support themselves and their families.
And this is a moment when we have to be sure that we're protecting families from the consequences of this kind of interest rate increase, doubling, as you just said, Representative.
The United States Public Interest Research Group says that without congressional action, borrowers who have taken out the maximum $23,000 in subsidized student loans will see their interest balloon to an additional $5,200 over a 10-year repayment and $11,300 over a 20-year repayment. So this is a huge increase for families, many of whom in my State, where we continue to have very high unemployment, the second highest in the country, where families are struggling with the consequences of the housing crisis and difficulty finding work, this cannot, we cannot allow this to happen. It will cause incredible hardship for families in Rhode Island and my district.
I was recently at Roger Williams University and at several other universities in my district meeting with young people. All were concerned about will Pell Grants continue, will we be able to protect Pell Grants, and what's going to happen when they graduate and have student loans. Are these kinds of interest rates going to be in existence, which are just not affordable to young people.
And the idea that we have 73 days, you know, this is a moment where we can demonstrate we can get something done. My friends on the other side of the aisle don't seem interested in addressing this issue which, for Rhode Islanders, and I know you recently had an event in Connecticut, and I know many of our colleagues around the country doing this, we've got to rally young people to demand that the legislation which you sponsored, H.R. 3826, and which I'm proud to be a cosponsor of, and my Senator, Senator Reid on the Senate side is the lead sponsor, we've got to demand that Speaker Boehner bring this to the floor for a vote.
Our colleagues need to hear from their families in their districts, from young people all across this country. This is about our own investment in our future as a country, that we benefit from young people who have access to higher education. At a time where our economy is still recovering, we can't allow interest rates to student loans to double.
I'm going to continue to fight very hard. I thank the gentleman for his leadership on this. I hope that we will continue to beat the drums on this for the next 73 days till we force some action here on the floor of the House for the sake of the young people in this country and for the sake of our future as a thriving and prosperous democracy.
I again thank the gentleman for the opportunity to speak to this issue tonight.