Crowley Rejects Another Republican Attempt to Deny Health Care to Americans and Votes Against Partisan Student Loan Bill
(Washington, D.C.) – Today, Rep. Joe Crowley (D-Queens, the Bronx) voted against the Republican proposal on student loans, a highly partisan effort that would eliminate critical community preventive health care services in order to extend low interest rates on federally-subsidized student loans. Democrats have been calling for the interest rate to stay low, while Republicans recently supported a budget that would have allowed the rates to double on July 1, 2012.
Below is a statement from Rep. Crowley as submitted for the record:
“Today, the House of Representatives missed an opportunity to do right by millions of American students. This was an opportunity for us all to come together in a bipartisan way and ensure that college students would not see their student loan interest rates double in just a few months. But instead, Republicans chose to give our students a lesson in Partisan Politics 101.
“For all the rhetoric we heard about their desire to stop these rate hikes, they just couldn’t pass up the chance to use one of their favorite tactics – dismantling the Affordable Care Act. They did this knowing full well that this proposal would never get the support it needs to become law. They made the calculation that they would try to score political points rather than help ensure that students can access an affordable college education.
“But these political tactics are not going to help families shoulder the cost of paying for college. They are not going to give more students the opportunity to achieve the American dream. And they are not going to help keep our country competitive in a global economy by training the best and the brightest in needed fields. What this maneuver would achieve is fewer disease screenings, weakened community health programs, and worse health for us all.
“Is that the country we want to be?
“We shouldn’t have to choose between educating our next generation and making sure they’re healthy. And if this was really about ‘fiscal responsibility,’ then the Republicans wouldn’t have chosen to eliminate– again – a program that actually saves money by preventing more costly disease.
“I went to the House floor hoping to be able to vote for legislation that would make a responsible effort to stop this interest rate hike. We could cover the cost by putting an end to unnecessary tax breaks for oil companies raking in profits. But instead, Republicans were intent on making this a political ploy at the expense of American families.
“I refuse to play these games with the well-being of hard-working Americans at stake, and I voted no on this legislation so that we can bring a better bill up for a vote.”
Congressman Crowley is a seven-term representative from the 7th Congressional District of New York, which includes sections of Queens and the Bronx. He serves as chief deputy whip in the Democratic leadership of the U.S. House of Representatives and is a member of the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.