Campaign 2010

Jun 18, 2013

DCCC Launches Paid Twitter Campaign on Impending Student Loan Rate Spike

With the impending spike in student loan rates, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee today is launching a paid Twitter campaign to encourage college students to tweet a simple message to their Member of Congress: #DontDoubleMyRate.

The Twitter campaign in 28 competitive districts comes after the DCCC launched a petition effort and circulated ads in college newspapers to encourage students to reach out to House Republicans to work with Democrats to solve the impending rate hike.

“No one in America is surprised that House Republicans keep siding with the wealthy and special corporate interests instead of students who want an affordable education, but increasing college loan costs is wrong beyond belief,” said Emily Bittner of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. “House Republicans refuse to wake up and stand with hardworking Americans, and this student loan fight demonstrates yet again that their priorities are out of touch. We encourage college students to make that simple point and tweet to their Member of Congress: #DontDoubleMyRate.”

The average college graduate already leaves school with $26,000 in student loan debt and if Congress doesn’t act by July 1st, federal student loan rates will double – meaning the average student with federal loans will rack up an additional $1,000 in debt. House Republicans passed a plan earlier this year that would actually pinch students’ wallets even more because “student loan rates could steadily climb and cost students more over the long haul,” according to the Associated Press.

Members of Congress in the following districts will be on the receiving end of the Twitter campaign:

  • Congressman Andy Barr (KY-06)
  • Congressman Dan Benishek (MI-01)
  • Congressman Mike Coffman (CO-06)
  • Congressman Rick Crawford (AR-01)
  • Congressman Rodney Davis (IL-13)  
  • Congressman Jeff Denham (CA-10)
  • Congressman Mike Fitzpatrick (PA-08)
  • Congressman Chris Gibson (NY-19)
  • Congressman Tim Griffin (AR-02)
  • Congressman Michael Grimm (NY-11)
  • Congressman Joe Heck (NV-03)
  • Congressman David Joyce (OH-14)
  • Congressman John Kline (MN-02)
  • Congressman Tom Latham (IA-03)
  • Congressman Frank LoBiondo (NJ-02)
  • Congressman David McKinley (WV-01)
  • Congressman Gary Miller (CA-31)
  • Congressman Steve Pearce (NM-02)
  • Congressman Tom Reed (NY-23)
  • Congressman Jim Renacci (OH-16)
  • Congressman Scott Rigell (VA-02)
  • Congressman Keith Rothfus (PA-12)
  • Congressman Jon Runyan (NJ-03)
  • Congressman Steve Southerland (FL-02)
  • Congressman David Valadao (CA-21)
  • Congressman Tim Walberg (MI-07)
  • Congressman Frank Wolf (VA-10)
  • Congressman Bill Young (FL-13)

BACKGROUND

AP: House Republican Plan Would Raise Student Loan Interest Rates Up to 8.5 Percent. According to the Associated Press: “Under the GOP proposal, student loans would be reset every year and based on 10-year Treasury notes, plus an added percentage. For instance, students who receive subsidized or unsubsidized Stafford student loans would pay the Treasury rate, plus 2.5 percentage points. Using Congressional Budget Office projections, that would translate to a 5 percent interest rate on Stafford loans in 2014, but the rate would climb to 7.7 percent for loans in 2023. Stafford loan rates would be capped at 8.5 percent, while loans for parents and graduate students would have a 10.5 percent ceiling under the GOP proposal.” [Associated Press, 5/16/13]

  • Headline: Republicans move forward with student loan plan that could mean higher rates later [Associated Press, 5/16/13]

The Average College Graduate Has $26,600 in Student Loan Debt; Total National Student Loan Debt Exceeds $1.1 Trillion. According to the Washington Post: “A recent report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau estimates that there 38 million student loan borrowers in the United States and the total debt load has passed $1.1 trillion. The Project on Student Debt has estimated that 66 percent of graduating college seniors in 2011 had some student loan debt, with an average balance of $26,600.” [Washington Post, 5/20/13]

CBO: Federal Government Turns $51 Billion Profit on Student Loans. According to the Huffington Post: “The Obama administration is forecast to turn a record $51 billion profit this year from student loan borrowers, a sum greater than the earnings of the nation's most profitable companies and roughly equal to the combined net income of the four largest U.S. banks by assets. Figures made public Tuesday by the Congressional Budget Office show that the nonpartisan agency increased its 2013 fiscal year profit forecast for the Department of Education by 43 percent to $50.6 billion from its February estimate of $35.5 billion.” [Huffington Post, 5/14/13]


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