Changing the status quo is never easy. Minnesotans, myself included, were reminded of this truth this summer when they found themselves caught in the crossfire of petty partisanship with very real consequences for student loan borrowers.
As you may recall, in 2007 then-Speaker Nancy Pelosi championed legislation that would temporarily phase down student loan interest rates from 6.8 percent to 3.4 percent. When the legislation expired, rates would jump back up to the higher level.
Rather than work with Republicans on responsible solutions that would help make higher education more affordable in the long run, the Democrat Congress chose to kick the can down the road. As a result, for the last two summers students and families have been stuck in limbo as Washington politicians fought over how to deal with the scheduled rate increase.
Students deserve better. They should never have to watch Congress hold their interest rates hostage, or see them used as bargaining chips each election year. They shouldn’t have had to deal with the uncertainty that comes with waiting for Congress to cobble together a temporary fix.