(Washington D.C.) – U.S. Senator Patty Murray today released the following statement after a bipartisan bill to reverse the doubling of student loan rates passed the Senate by a vote of 81-18. In addition to supporting the compromise bill, Senator Murray also voted for the Reed-Warren amendment which would extend caps under current law, however that amendment was blocked.

“This bill is an important bipartisan compromise that will prevent the immediate doubling of student loan rates for Washington state students and families. I fought hard for the inclusion of caps on loan rates to protect students when interest rates rise and I’m pleased that they became part of this deal. I’m also pleased to have included a GAO study that will provide an independent look at the cost of administering student loans to help inform future conversations on putting students before profits. While, like most compromises, this bill does not include all of the certainty and protections I believe our students deserve, it is an important first step in a larger conversation about the skyrocketing cost of higher education in our state and across the nation.

“It is absolutely unacceptable that tuition continues to rise at a rate far beyond family incomes while government support for education is targeted for deep cuts in bills like those being put forward by the House of Representatives. If we expect our children, and their children, to compete in a global economy we must put forward innovative solutions to reduce the rising cost of a college education and the mountain of debt college graduates are burdened with. In the weeks and months ahead I plan to help lead a conversations on solutions to make college more affordable for more students and I am ready and willing to join with any of my colleagues in that pursuit.  The status quo is failing our students and we must change the unsustainable course we are on.”