"Middle class families and their children deserve a fair shot at higher education. Students deserve fair, affordable loans to help them get the education they need to succeed," Senator Mikulski said. "Right now, millions of American students are graduating from college and universities but as they are handed their diplomas, they are being handed a lifetime of debt. Getting a college education is the core of the American dream. I'm fighting to make sure that every student has access to that dream."
The Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, legislation introduced by Senator
The ballooning student debt rate is creating a drag on the U.S. economy. As student loan debt has risen, home ownership and car ownership have declined for young households. Keeping the cost of borrowing low will help reduce the amount students owe and help give them purchasing power that can improve our overall economy.
Senator Mikulski's remarks submitted to the Congressional Record, follow:
"I am proud to support the
"Middle class families and their children deserve a fair shot at higher education. Students deserve fair, affordable loans to help them get the education they need to succeed, and the working women of America deserve a fair shot at fair pay with equal pay for equal work. Right now, millions of American students are graduating from college and universities. But as they are handed their diplomas, they are being handed a lifetime of debt. The average student debt for 2012 college graduates was
"This especially affects young women struggling to pay debts against a wage gap. College educated women earn just
"The women of America want more. Women make up almost half of the workforce and 40 percent are the sole breadwinners for families, but still only make
"I am so proud of America's women. We have accomplished so much. We have gone to space, become CEOs of Fortune 500 Companies and even made it the
"Getting a college education is the core of the American dream. I'm fighting to make sure that every student has access to that dream. Let's work together to make sure that when students graduate, their first mortgage isn't their student debt. Carrying the burden of student loans drags down young people's financial futures making it harder to buy a home, start a family, or save for retirement. I support Senator Warren's bill because it reduces debt and fights for American families. It lowers interest rates, giving everyone a fair shot at repaying their loans for a more secure financial future.
"I've said this often, but we in this country enjoy many freedoms: the freedom of speech, the freedom of the press, the freedom of religion. But there's an implicit freedom our constitution doesn't lay out in writing, but its promise has excited the passions, hopes, and dreams of people in this country since its founding. The freedom to take whatever talents God has given you, to fill whatever passion is in your heart, to learn so you can earn and make a contribution - the freedom to achieve.
"When I was a young girl at a Catholic all-girls school, my Mom and Dad made it clear they wanted me to go to college. But, right around graduation, my family was going through a rough time because my Dad's grocery store had suffered a terrible fire. I offered to put off college and work at the grocery store until the business got back on its feet. My Dad said, 'Barb, you have to go. Your mother and I will find a way, because no matter what happens to you, no one can ever take that degree away from you. The best way I can protect you is to make sure you can earn a living all of your life.' My father gave me the freedom to achieve. And this legislation will give millions of Americans that same freedom without adding a dime to the deficit.
"Senator Warren's legislation should be passed in a swift, expeditious, and uncluttered way. It gives our students access to the American dream. It gives our young people access to the freedom to achieve, to be able to follow their talents, and to be able to achieve higher education in whatever field they will be able to serve this country.
"While our work isn't done when it comes to ensuring access to affordable higher education, this bill helps us get there. While these bills will fix the problem today, I will continue to work with my colleagues to figure out a longer-term solution."
Read this original document at: http://www.mikulski.senate.gov/media/pressrelease/6-10-2014-2.cfm
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