Rep. Schiff Votes for Bipartisan Agreement on Keeping Student Loan Rates Low and Creating Transportation Jobs

Washington, DC – Today, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Burbank) released the following statement after the House voted on bipartisan legislation to prevent the doubling of student loan rates on July 1st, as well as a transportation that will create much-needed jobs throughout Los Angeles and California:

“I was very pleased to see that the House today reached bipartisan agreement – so rare over the past year – on two important pieces of legislation that will keep student loan rates low and pave the way for jobs and economic growth. If Congress had failed to act on student loans today, over seven million students would have seen their student loan interest rates double. With unemployment high for recent graduates, the last thing that we need to do is compound the challenges they face in today’s tough economic environment.

“The transportation bill is critical to our universal goals of creating new jobs and helping our struggling economy. This legislation will protect nearly two million construction jobs, and create a million more. In California, our economy will not come back until our construction industry does, and this bill will be a much-needed boost.

“While I was pleased that we eventually reached this important consensus, I deeply regret that the final bill weakened a critical provision that would have protected local communities’ ability to decide how to invest a small pool of federal funds that fund bicycle and pedestrian projects, did not authorize the popular TIGER program that has funded innovative transportation projects and did not provide a funding source for freight movement projects.”

Below are details on the bipartisan agreement on both bills:

One-Year Extension of Student Loan Rate: This legislation extends the current 3.4 percent loan rate on need-based student loans through July 1, 2013. Under current law, the rate would have doubled to 6.8 percent on July 1, 2012.

Transportation Bill: This agreement provides 27 months of stable funding, so that states can have the confidence they need to undertake large and complex projects that will create much needed jobs. It will also dramatically expand the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) financing program that will allow local governments with dedicated sources of revenue to accelerate the delivery of critical transportation infrastructure program through low cost loans. This will create jobs now.