News Column

Cummings Applauds President's Action to Ease Student Debt

June 9, 2014



WASHINGTON, June 9 -- Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md. (7th CD), issued the following news release:

Today, Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, Ranking Member of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, issued a statement commending President Obama's executive action to tie monthly payments on students loans to monthly income, reducing payments for millions of borrowers across the country:

"Higher education is a critical ladder of opportunity for American families, yet escalating costs are forcing many graduates to begin their professional lives with insurmountable debt. With student loan debt averaging nearly $30,000 per graduate, many young Americans are unable to buy homes or start businesses.

"The President's action today will help put nearly five million Americans back on solid financial footing and keep more borrowers from falling into delinquency and default.

"In Maryland, borrowers have more than $20 billion in outstanding student debt, making it essential that we work swiftly to address this growing crisis. I applaud the President's actions to help keep college affordable, preserving that ladder of opportunity for generations yet unborn, and I urge Congress to enact sensible reforms to our financial aid process."

Today, the President directed the Department of Education to expand the Pay As You Earn (PAYE) program. The PAYE program enables student loan borrowers to cap their loan payments at 10% of their monthly income. The new rules will open the PAYE program to borrowers who are currently ineligible because they have loans that originated before October 2007.

Cummings is a cosponsor of the House companion to Senator Elizabeth Warren's legislation, The Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, which is being considered by the Senate this week.http://www.warren.senate.gov/files/documents/BankOnStudentsRefinancingBillText.pdf

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