Rep. John Garamendi, D-Walnut Grove, has joined an action to force an up-or-down vote on legislation that would prevent the subsidized Stafford loan interest rate from doubling on July 1.
The bill would freeze the interest rate on these loans at 3.4 percent for the next two years. To date, 194 members of Congress have signed the discharge petition to allow a vote on HR 1595, the Student Loan Relief Act of 2013. A discharge petition requires the House to consider the legislation once a majority of members (218) have signed it.
“If Congress fails to stop the Stafford loan rate from doubling by July 1, it will take money out of the pockets of working families and students, including 11,000 students at UC Davis. Those stopping this vote from happening should be ashamed,” Garamendi said in a news release.
“We live in a country where half of the children from wealthy families complete college, but only one in 10 children from the poorest families are able to get their degree. The Stafford loan is a vital lifeline for those trying to bridge the achievement gap, making the American dream more accessible to all.”
Democrats are launching the discharge petition to force action on the bill, saying Republican leaders have refused to move forward on it.
As a University of California regent and California State University trustee, Garamendi voted against every undergraduate tuition increase.