Update on student loans campaign: Sen. Reid joins the fight

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  • Dear Friend,

    We have some big news. Just a little while ago Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid went to the Senate floor, challenging his Republican colleagues to join Democrats and pass legislation that would prevent interest rates on federally subsidized student loans from doubling this July. Your activism on this issue is clearly working. Let's keep it up.

    Tell Sen. Tom Harkin: Stop Republicans from doubling the interest rate on student loans by cosponsoring the Student Loan Affordability Act (S.2051). Click here to automatically sign the petition.

    On the Senate floor today, Senator Reid said (as prepared for delivery):

    [W]ith middle-class families struggling and fewer families able to afford the rising cost of higher education, we cannot afford to put college out of reach for more promising young people.

    Doubling interest rates from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent — effectively socking 7.4 million students with $1,000-a-year in student loan costs — would do just that.

    Today Americans have more student loan debt than credit card debt. The average graduate owes close to $25,000. Getting a college education shouldn't burden young people with unsustainable debt.

    We need as many Democratic Senators to cosponsor S. 2051 as possible, as it will help generate more momentum for our side and turn up the heat on Republicans. If you haven't done so yet, please tell Sen. Tom Harkin to co-sponsor S. 2051, by clicking on the following link.

    http://act.credoaction.com/r/?r=6879711&id=38913-3362360-YvtCIKx&t=5

    If you have already signed the petition, you can send an e-mail to your friends and family by clicking here or by forwarding the e-mail below.

    Thank you for fighting on behalf of students from working class American families.

    Murshed Zaheed, Deputy Political Director
    CREDO Action


    Tell Sen. Tom Harkin: Do not let the interest rate double on federal student loans.
    Clicking here will automatically add your name to this petition to Sen. Tom Harkin:
    "Do not let the interest rate double on federal student loans. Co-sponsor the Student Loan Affordability Act (S.2051), keeping college education affordable for the 99%."
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    CREDO Action | more than a network, a movement.

    Tell Sen. Tom Harkin: Do not let the interest rate double on federal student loans.

    Dear Friend,

    Just a few weeks ago, we asked CREDO Action members to engage on the explosive issue of student loans. The response has been amazing. Over 232,000 CREDO activists have signed our petition to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid urging him to fight to stop Congressional Republicans from doubling the interest rates on federally subsidized student loans and urging him to bring a bill to the floor for a vote.

    The Student Loan Affordability Act (S. 2051) has now been introduced by Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), and locks in the federally subsidized student loan rate at 3.4 percent and prevents it from doubling this summer. We need as many senators as possible to co-sponsor this bill.

    Tell Sen. Tom Harkin: Stop Republicans from doubling the interest rate on student loans by cosponsoring the Student Loan Affordability Act (S.2051). Click here to automatically sign the petition.

    Now is the time for action. President Obama has joined the fight, pledging to use his bully pulpit to do an "all-out push" to get Congress to stop the interest rates from doubling on July 1.1 The energy generated by your activism is also giving a boost to Senator Reed's legislation, which in the last few weeks gained support from prominent members of Senate Democratic Leadership, including Senators Chuck Schumer, Dick Durbin and Patty Murray.

    We need to build on this momentum, because it is going to be a difficult task to pass this legislation through both the Senate and the House and permanently cap the interest rate on federally subsidized student loans at 3.4 percent. If we build massive support, we can prevent an early compromise that would put off the doubling of the interest rates for only one year — a compromise that is both unnecessary and not nearly good enough. At a time of economic uncertainly we cannot afford to have this fight on a year-to-year basis, adding more stress to millions of America's working families.

    Tell Sen. Tom Harkin: Stop Republicans from doubling the interest rate on student loans by cosponsoring the Student Loan Affordability Act (S.2051). Click here to automatically sign the petition.

    The enormous mountain of student debt and skyrocketing college costs is crushing America's working and middle classes, and more and more stories are emerging of couples putting off plans for marriage and children just to manage their ballooning student loan payments.2 As has been pointed out by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, "excessive student debt can slow the recovery of the housing market," and it can "also put added stress on the borrowing capacity of the household and government sector."3

    Keeping federally subsidized student loans affordable for the families who need them most will provide millions of working class Americans with much needed economic relief. It is urgent that we organize in support of Senator Reed's legislation today to make sure that interest rates do not double on July 1.

    The more Senators who come out in support of the Student Loan Affordability Act today, the more likely it will be that Congress acts on this issue before interest rates double this summer.

    Tell Sen. Tom Harkin: Stop Republicans from doubling the interest rate on student loans by cosponsoring the Student Loan Affordability Act (S.2051). Click below to automatically sign the petition:
    http://act.credoaction.com/r/?r=6879712&id=38913-3362360-YvtCIKx&t=16

    Thank you for speaking out to make sure that all students can afford a higher education.

    Murshed Zaheed, Deputy Political Director
    CREDO Action from Working Assets

    1. Tamar Lewin, "Student Loan Interest Rates Loom as Political Battle," The New York Times, April 20, 2012.
    2. Rohit Chopra, "Too Big to Fail: Student debt hits a trillion," Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, March 21, 2012.
    3. Sue Shellenbarger, "To Pay Off Loans, Grads Put Off Marriage, Children," The Wall Street Journal, April 17, 2012.


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