|00:00:00||HIGH SCHOOL SENIORS WHO ARE EXPERIENCES PROBABLY ONE OF THE MOST EXCITING MOMENTS IN THEIR LIVES, THEY ARE GOING TO THE MAILBOX TO FIND OUT WHETHER OR NOT THEY'VE BEEN ACCEPTED TO A TWO-YEAR SCHOOL OR A FOUR-YEAR SCHOOL.|
|00:00:13||I REMEMBER THOSE DAYS, I HAVE A SON WHO JUST FINISHED COLLEGE, I REMEMBER HOW EXCITING THAT WAS, AND A DAUGHTER WHO IS IN HIGH SCHOOL, HOPEFULLY GOING TO HEAR SOON.|
|00:00:23||THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS, THEY NEED TO HAVE SOME HORIZON, SOME PREDICTABILITY AT THIS CRITICAL MOMENT TO MAKE SURE THEY CAN PLAN AND FWOUNLT PAY FOR COLLEGE.|
|00:00:33||FINANCIAL AID OFFICES ARE PUTTING UP WARNING FLAGS FOR STUDENTS AND THEIR FAMILIES THAT INTEREST RATES WILL DOUBLE UNLESS CONGRESS ACTS.|
|00:00:41||THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS, THAT CREATES AN INSTABILITY ABOUT PLANNING FOR WHAT COLLEGE TO GO TO, WHAT KIND OF BUDGET A FAMILY CAN ACCOMMODATE IN TERMS OF PAYING FOR STUDENT LOAN DEBT AND THAT'S WHY.|
|00:00:54||WE CAN DO BETTER THAN THAT AS A CONGRESS.|
|00:00:56||WE CAN DO BETTER THAN THAT AS A NATION.|
|00:00:59||AGAIN, WE'RE GLAD TO SEE THAT MR.|
|00:01:01||ROMNEY FINAL CAME AROUND EVEN THOUGH HE SENT OUT SIGNALS IN OPERATION TO THIS TYPE OF APPROACH BY SPORTING THE RYAN BUDGET WHICH LOCKS IN THE 6.|
|00:01:10||7% INTEREST RATE BUT THIS ISSUE IS TOO IMPORTANT TO GET SORT OF SUCKED INTO PARTISANSHIP HERE.|
|00:01:15||IT IS TIME TO MOVE FORWARD, JUST LIKE WE DID IN 2007 WHEN 77 REPUBLICANS VOTED IN FAVOR OF THE COLLEGE COST REDUCTION ACT, 35 REPUBLICAN SENATORS SUPPORTED IT, PRESIDENT GEORGE BUSH SIGNED IT INTO LAW A PROGRAM NAMED AFTER REPUBLICAN SENATOR ROBERT STAFFORD FROM VERMONT.|
|00:01:33||I MEAN, COME ON, PEOPLE ARE SICK AND TIRED OF THE FACT THAT EVERY SINGLE ISSUE, WHETHER IT'S A HIGHWAY BILL A PAYROLL TAX CUT EXTENSION OR EDUCATION ASSISTANCE FOR MIDDLE CLASS FAMILIES GETS SUCKED INTO, JUST, YOU KNOW, PARTISAN, YOU KNOW, MAELSTROM IN WASHINGTON, D.|
|00:01:50||C. AND THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS, THERE'S 146 MEMBERS ON OUR SIDE THAT HAVE CO-SPONSORED H.|
|00:01:56||R. 3826 THAT ARE LOOKING FOR A SIGNAL FROM THE REPUBLICAN MAJORITY TO SAY, YOU KNOW WHAT, IT'S TIME TO LOOK AT OUR HISTORY, IT'S TIME TO LOOK AT THE GENEALOGY OF THE STAFFORD STUDENT LOAN PROGRAM AND THE GREAT BIPARTISAN SUPPORT TO CUT THOSE RATES FIVE YEARS AGO, LET'S COME UP WITH A SOLUTION, LET'S MOVE, LET'S HELP THOSE FAMILIES WHOSE STUDENTS ARE BEING ACCEPTED INTO COLLEGE AND THOSE FINANCIAL AID OFFICES TRYING TO HELP FAMILIES BUDGET AND PLAN FOR THE NEXT ACADEMIC SCHOOL YEAR.|
|00:02:25||. 67 DAYS ISN'T ENOUGH, BUT WE SHOULDN'T COMPOUND IT BY LETTING A TOTALLY UNACCEPTABLE INCREASE FOR STAFFORD LOANS GO INTO EFFECT.|
|00:02:39||I LOOK FORWARD WORKING WITH YOU TO MAKE SURE THAT DOESN'T HAPPEN.|
|00:02:44||THANK YOU FOR JOINING ME HERE.|
|00:02:45||AND I YIELD BACK.|
|00:02:48||THE SPEAKER PRO TEMPORE: THE GENTLEMAN YIELDS BACK THE BALANCE OF HIS TIME.|
|00:02:50||UNDER THE SPEAKER'S ANNOUNCED POLICY OF JANUARY 5, 2011, THE|
Mr. COURTNEY. Thank you, Mr. Clarke.
In closing, I just want to end where we began, which is that it's 67 days and counting.
Today, all across America, there are high school seniors who are experiencing probably one of the most exciting moments in their lives, which is that they're going to the mailbox to find out whether or not they've been accepted to a 2-year school or a 4-year school. I remember those days. I have a son who just finished up college--and remember how exciting that was--and a daughter who's in high school and who's hopefully going to hear soon when her turn comes. But the fact of the matter is they need to have some horizon, some predictability at this critical moment to make sure that they can plan and budget to pay for college.
[Time: 20:00] Financial Aid offices all across the country are putting up warning flags for students and their families that interest rates are going to double unless Congress acts. And the fact of the matter is that creates an instability about planning for what college to go to, what kind of budget a family can really accommodate in terms of paying for student loan debt. And that's wrong.
I mean, we can do better than that as a Congress. We can do better than that as a Nation.
Again, we're glad to see that Mr. Romney finally came around, even though he had sent out signals in opposition to this type of approach by supporting the Ryan budget which locks in the 6.8 percent interest rate.
But you know what, this issue is too important to get sucked into sort of partisanship here. It is time to move forward, just like we did in 2007, when 77 Republicans voted in favor of the College Cost Reduction Act; 35 Republican Senators supported it. President George Bush signed it into law, a program named after Republican Senator Robert Stafford from Vermont.
I mean, come on. You know, people are sick and tired of the fact that every single issue, whether it's a highway bill, a payroll tax cut extension, or education assistance for middle class families gets sucked into this partisan maelstrom in Washington, DC.
And the fact of the matter is there's 146 Members on our side that have cosponsored H.R. 3826 that are looking for a signal from the Republican majority to say, you know what, it's time to look at our history. It's time to look at the genealogy of the Stafford student loan program and the great bipartisan support to cut those rates 5 years ago.
Let's come up with a solution. Let's move. Let's help those families whose students are being accepted into college and those financial aid offices that are trying to help families budget and plan for the next academic school year.
Sixty-seven days is really not enough time, even today, but we should at least not compound it by delay and, hopefully, not compound it by letting just a totally unacceptable increase in interest rates for Stafford student loans to go into effect.
And I look forward to working with you, again, in the next hours and minutes and days to make sure that that doesn't happen. Thank you for joining me here, Congressman Clarke.
I yield back the balance of my time.