Education secy: Student loan rate hike weakens fight for U.S. jobs

Education Secretary Arne Duncan,left, accompanied by Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Richard Cordray, gestrues during the daily briefing at the White House in Washington, Tuesday, June 5, 2012. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
'We have to fight to keep those jobs here'

wtopstaff | November 14, 2014 8:37 am

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Paul D. Shinkman,

WASHINGTON – Congress’ failure to keep student loan debt interest rates at their current levels could have devastating consequences for the future of U.S. jobs, according to the secretary of education, who on Thursday scolded lawmakers for blocking “urgent” legislation.

Senate Republicans successfully filibustered consideration of a Democratic bill earlier this month that would keep the loan interest rates from doubling from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. Congress is tasked with finding $5 billion to $6 billion to pay for the measure, which would repeat a 2007 bipartisan effort under a Republican president to keep the interest rate status quo.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan believes it is going to come down to the June 30 deadline to pass what he calls a critical measure.

“We’re pushing as hard as we can to make sure that Congress gets past this dysfunction,” he told WTOP on Thursday. “If they can come together and get behind anything

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