For Immediate Release

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Congress Must Keep Their Eye on the Prize

Statement of Rich Williams, U.S. PIRG Higher Education Advocate, on the upcoming vote on H.R. 4628

WASHINGTON - “Unless a new plan is adopted by Congress, interest rates on subsidized student loans for nearly 7.5 million students will double on July 1st.

"With multiple bills introduced, we are pleased that Congress has recognized the importance of addressing the pending interest rate hike on young graduates. However, we are deeply disappointed that the House will not be voting on a measure that will gain the strong bipartisan support it could if devoid of partisan sideshows. The partisan charade puts politics ahead of the interests of students and their families.

"Further, cutting a preventative health care fund, a program that helps move us to a more rational and cost effective health care system, makes no sense and cannot be seen as a serious attempt to enact legislation.

"We urge members to vote no on H.R. 4628 and work to find a bipartisan way to pay for maintaining low interest rates for students.

"There are any number of ways to pay for this important extension of low interest rates and we urge members to work together, on behalf of the almost 7.5 million students facing increased debt, to find a bipartisan solution.”

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U.S. PIRG, the federation of state Public Interest Research Groups (PIRGs), stands up to powerful special interests on behalf of the American public, working to win concrete results for our health and our well-being. With a strong network of researchers, advocates, organizers and students in state capitols across the country, we take on the special interests on issues, such as product safety,political corruption, prescription drugs and voting rights,where these interests stand in the way of reform and progress.

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