News Releases

Senator Murray Warns College Students about Bush Plan to Increase Student Loan Payments

May 01 2002

Senators Murray, Kennedy, Wellstone discuss misguided policy plan with those who will be hurt worst

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – U.S. Senators Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Ted Kennedy (D-Mass.) and Paul Wellstone (D-Minn.) today spoke with dozens of college newspapers editors from across the country about the President's plan to increase college costs for millions of American students.

Speaking via conference call, the Senators blasted the plan, which prevents students from consolidating their loans at a fixed rate – a move that could cost graduates an additional $10,000 over the life of their loans.

"To put the President's education cut in perspective, we should look back to last year," Senator Murray said. "The cost of the President's tax cut was $1.3 trillion – or one thousand times greater than the savings he would find under this proposal. Yet the cost to thousands of graduates and their families would be brutal."

The Senators explained that slashing federal loan programs would act as a tax increase for lower and middle class students and their families. They also answered students' questions about increasing funding for Pell Grants, a proposal championed by Senate Democrats.

"Many of us believe that we should encourage more students to go to college by making it affordable," Murray said. "Unfortunately, the Administration plans to make it not only more expensive, but costlier for years after graduation."

Senators Murray, Kennedy and Wellstone encouraged the college reporters to inform their colleagues and increase awareness of the Administration's cuts to education.

"This Administration pledged to 'leave no child behind,'" Murray said. "But the cuts they are making to education priorities like student loans will leave millions of students behind."