Political battle over student loan interest rates
Sen. John Thune sounds off
- Duration 4:57
- Date May 8, 2012
Sen. John Thune sounds off
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Both sides are ramping up the political rhetoric on the issue senate majority leader Harry Reid taking a swipe at the Republican plan.
Just a few moments ago let's take a listen.
While we do not support Republicans plan to cut programs to combat diabetes heart disease cancer -- happy if they want to -- on some alternative.
But let us get on spell.
Republicans but stop filibustering our legislation.
And in this instance to keep student loan interest rates low.
They want some other way to pay for part let's take a look at him -- him -- the stakes in this -- are too -- to let partisanship get -- the way.
Over more on this issue we're joined by senator John Thune of South Dakota he's the chairman at a senate Republican conference center I think that's nice to have you back with that's.
Good morning -- we just heard from senator Reid is open to an alternative he says was cast as procedural vote let's compromise when I feel that.
-- -- We we would like an opportunity to get a vote on a proposal put forward that actually would keep the interest rate of 3.4 percent what.
We're not going to be for is raising taxes.
And doing harm the economy this is the whole we're gonna have at noon today is a cynical proposal put forward by the Democrats which is really.
An extension of the presidential campaign on -- the floor the United States senate.
We we would like to have and open debate about this -- we get an opportunity to put up our proposal we think it's a much better approach.
But the fact of the matter is that the real issue here is.
The Obama economy and the damage that it's done to young people who were out there looking for jobs that's what we ought to be focused on.
And and get away from these things are designed to do nothing more than score political points and election.
Positive and some would suggest that both parties are wrong here.
The government is in debt.
-- we're talking about interest rates going up from three to 6% that's nothing to be dismissive about that the government guarantees these loans already so.
We live important issues facing the country right now on this is just not the place that we need to spend energy what do you think.
I live my own view on that is that we ought to be focusing on the real issue and that is creating jobs in growing the economy if you look at.
Associated Press report from a couple of weeks ago one out of two college students in this country today recent graduates.
Are either jobless or underemployed and those that are getting jobs are making 9%.
Less than they would a few years ago still be the real economic issue here is the broader economy and what we're doing a great jobs out there.
Frankly I think there is a real concern about.
Spending and debt and making sure that we do things in a responsible way here -- the reason we are where we are today.
Is because couple years ago when obamacare was passed the federal government the Democrats of the time -- the majority the president took over the student loan program used to be run through.
Private banks where they originated service those loans and government guaranteed it so out of the government's in this business right where we're having all these problems are created by that -- Let's focus on and what lies ahead -- how to maybe take some of these issues some suggest providing loans in backing them.
Actually makes -- is less affordable in fact the S secretary of education for Reagan.
Had this to say William Bennett he says if we keep interest rates low well colleges reciprocate.
By keeping tuition -- when he goes on to say there's been a 400% increase over the last me five years in college tuition so.
Do you have a game plan to deal with some of these rising costs for education especially in a bad economy would you consider capping the cost of education for example.
-- so what I consider which may -- capping the cost of education.
Well I think the cost of education is always a big issue here somebody who's who's.
He's going to school there are programs available to help people who need -- and that's what the Stafford loan program does.
It only affects 13 of all.
-- government loans that are out there of course are a lot of students who get loans could continue to get loans to.
A private lenders but the cost of college educated education continues to go up.
And what we're seeing I think as a result of a lot of the policies coming out of Washington DC.
Is you know states are now having to pay more -- to cover the Medicaid costs that are being handed to them by the federal government.
And therefore they have less to put into.
Higher Ed and so we're seeing -- a real shift going on in this country because of some of the policies that that that are that's been created here in Washington DC.
In largely because of more government -- I think the real issue here.
I goes back to the obamacare bill that was passed in 2009 -- nine billion dollars was raised about the student made fun.
To pay for parts of obamacare and where the government took over the student loan program publicity might have been a lot better job of this and I think -- student.
Keep interest rates and in college tuition more affordable for students if we had a program that was actually administered.
And run out in the in the private economy around run for the government here in Washington.
You'll see what happens at that the health care laws about Supreme Court decade after adding interesting twists in our.
Our conversations about where money's going as well that's something we don't know at this time senator you know it's nice to -- you thank you stopping by.