Tammy Baldwin, students call on Congress to keep loan rates low

2013-07-06T05:45:00Z Tammy Baldwin, students call on Congress to keep loan rates lowWisPolitics.com and The Capital Times madison.com

U.S Sen. Tammy Baldwin, D-Madison, is calling on Congress to cap student loan interest rates at 3.4 percent for one more year.

On Monday, the interest rates for government-backed Stafford loans doubled from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent after Congress failed to agree on a measure to cap the rates in the short or long term. Subsidized Stafford loans account for about 25 percent of direct federal borrowing by college students.

When Congress returns next week from its Fourth of July break, it is expected to vote on a Senate Democratic proposal that would retroactively lower the rate to 3.4 percent for another year.

Baldwin held a joint press conference Wednesday with University of Wisconsin students, who talked about their struggle to pay student loans.

Baldwin said the expected vote next week would be only the "first step" toward making college more affordable for students across the country. She said the country also needs to look at other avenues for student debt relief and a separate measure that would properly inform students about the cost and terms of private student loans.

"We have got to constantly ask ourselves how college can be made affordable and accessible to all," Baldwin said on the UW-Madison campus. "How we can make it a pathway to the middle class, not a pathway to indebtedness."

President Obama has been urging Congress for months to reach a compromise on the loan rates after lawmakers went through this same gridlock last summer, only to vote to extend the 3.4 percent rate for a year.

The White House estimates the average savings for Wisconsin students who have Stafford loans would be $968 over the life of their loans if the rate is kept at 3.4 percent. According to an interactive White House map, Wisconsin had 163,427 student borrowers in 2012.

Baldwin said that attempts to reach a compromise with congressional Republicans have not been fruitful and said the GOP version of the bill was making the situation worse because it could allow those interest rates to soar above the current 6.8 percent rate. She also said lack of agreement on the caps within Democratic ranks was mainly the result of the looming deadline they faced to work out a short-term fix.

Fortune magazine lays out the options for Congress and notes that the interest rate jump isn’t hitting any student immediately because it applies to loans taken out after July 1 and most students won’t sign for those until the beginning of the school year.

Copyright 2015 madison.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(48) Comments

  1. Cornelius Gotchberg
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    Cornelius Gotchberg - July 07, 2013 6:31 pm
    @Alec;

    Still can't see the forest for the trees; pity that.

    I'm sure the surging market has nothing to do with the QE's or the billions of $ in air money Bernanke's plopping in every so often.

    Underemployment has risen to 14.3 %. We've had 54 months of 7.5 % or over unemployment.

    The "Bush recession?" Have someone read you the NBER report on the CRA's responsibility for the Bush Recession. Funny thing; the CRA was started in 1977 and was doubled down upon in 1994. I don't recall Bush, any Bush being President during those years.

    In all fainess, most of this is not on the Cartoon Network, though it should be.

    @pete;

    LUV it when you talk dirty, but your deliciously dripping irony will fall on deaf ears.

    The Gotch
  2. pete
    Report Abuse
    pete - July 07, 2013 6:08 pm
    so the worst recovery in our nations history is the new standard. you know what they say, aim low.

    btw, if his platform would have been: "Wall St will set records, big corporations will make record profits while paying less in taxes and more people will leave the work force than find jobs" - would you have voted for him? just curious
  3. Alec
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    Alec - July 07, 2013 5:33 pm
    Since The junior Senator from Illinois has been in office the stock market has now rebounded to record levels, corporate earnings are very very strong and the corporate tax rates is the lowest in 30 years. New Jobs are being created every month since the BUSH recession and GDP GROWTH IS POSITIVE!
    Try to stay positive? The economic truth will set you free!
  4. JoeBiteme
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    JoeBiteme - July 07, 2013 2:58 pm
    Tammy can't think on her own. Should we expect anything else from this dim bulb.
  5. Cornelius Gotchberg
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    Cornelius Gotchberg - July 07, 2013 11:30 am
    @Dode;

    You do make a point. A former flame was positively giddy in 2008 over the prospect of the CHOSEN ONE turning back the tide and healing the planet, or somesuch.

    She worked (past tense) at Great Lakes Higher Education; the dots got connected for her.

    The Gotch
  6. pete
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    pete - July 07, 2013 11:25 am
    proud of saving a small amount of students a beer a month. Wow, would I love to be married to you with an expectation level like that.
  7. pete
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    pete - July 07, 2013 11:24 am
    wait until this bubble bursts. I wonder if the left will treat universities with the same vitriol they treated the bankers after the housing bubble.
  8. Dode
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    Dode - July 07, 2013 10:48 am
    Present 0bama said we needed to make student loans cheaper so he had the government take over the program. Now student loans are too expensive. Can anyone on the left connect the dots?
  9. Dode
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    Dode - July 07, 2013 10:44 am
    Can we assume you would also include Present 0bama in this group? He is the poster boy for lightweight intellectuals.
  10. Dode
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    Dode - July 07, 2013 10:38 am
    @alec
    But the sitcoms showing all the stupid things liberals do are still going strong.
  11. 196ski
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    196ski - July 07, 2013 9:39 am
    Proud of what?

    The House Republicans passed a long term Student Loan bill that would tie interest rates to Ten Year Treasury notes plus 2.5%. The Senate, Tammy's Senate, refused to take up the Bill.

    The Bill passed in the House would take politics out of the Student Loan program. The Democrats want a one year or two year plan, only to repeat this nonsense again in 14 or 15. How long does it take to get a college degree? Why wouldn't we want a fixed system that spelled out exactly what the cost of borrowing money would be for the entire time students were in school?

    You're right Pete, not one word about the out of control costs of tuition.

    Nice job Tammy.
  12. Nav
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    Nav - July 07, 2013 9:29 am
    Carry on Tammy with your good work! There is a reason they chose you over Tommy Thompson, and you are making them proud.

  13. Nav
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    Nav - July 07, 2013 9:25 am
    Pete, have you gone crazy? LOL

    The reality is that it is your party that has opposed President Obama, the first black President in history, on EVERYTHING. If that is not racially induced then I don't know what is!

    There are a LOT MORE minorities who are progressives than the few examples you give, Agreed?

    Your party is still having such a hard time accepting a black man in the white house. That's too bad, because the way the demographics are changing there will likely be many more to come!
  14. Cornelius Gotchberg
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    Cornelius Gotchberg - July 07, 2013 9:24 am
    @Nav;

    "There is no inner racist in me." Why; because it's right out in the open?

    Just kidding, you'v never given me cause to believe that, but I must confess I was taken aback by your answer.

    And please list any prominent Lefites whom you deem objective. Other than that which is typically shown in my posts, objectivity has gone the way of the dinosaur.

    Give some Sowell a read; he runs intellectual circles around any Senior Lecturer on Leave.

    I suspect more minorities would self-identify as conservatives were there NOT the vicious and racist attacks from the Left. And if you tell me there's no double standard; I'll see your Paula Deen and raise you an Alec Bladwin.

    Look at the way Clarence Thomas, Herman Cain, Condi Rice, Alan Keyes, even Bill Cosby, etc. are treated by the "tolerant" Left. The only thing that surprises me, because what they preach is diametrically opposed to the Lefty business model, is the abjectly hypocritical blind eye turned by Lefty.

    Were you a person of color, wouldn't you keep your politics to yourself if they not only denied you the protection of the Liberal Plantation, but guaranteed ugly derision and public humiliation?

    "Nikki Haley and Bobby Jindahl are very odd Governors who seem to have accomplished very little." Moot point, but I'd opine they've each accomplished more than the Junior Senator from IL until the star making machinery latched on and pumped up the jam.

    The Gotch

  15. pete
    Report Abuse
    pete - July 07, 2013 9:03 am
    for one, how could you possibly write your comment if you yourself admitted you don't know anything about these people?

    Two, ALL of the names mentioned by Gotch, know how to spell "inteliggent".

    nav, the gift that keeps on giving.

    We've been told for years that people who don't agree with obama have some deep rooted racism issues, now you summarily dismiss a brilliant group of minorities as unintelligent - pot meet kettle.

  16. pete
    Report Abuse
    pete - July 07, 2013 8:25 am
    a couple of things from this article really jumped out at me. First,

    "Baldwin said the expected vote next week would be only the "first step" toward making college more affordable for students across the country. She said the country also needs to look at other avenues for student debt relief and a separate measure that would properly inform students about the cost and terms of private student loans."

    not a single mention about the runaway cost of tuition. interesting.

    Also stated in the article:

    "The White House estimates the average savings for Wisconsin students who have Stafford loans would be $968 over the life of their loans if the rate is kept at 3.4 percent."

    I'm not sure if this is a misprint or badly worded, but $1,000 over the course of 25 (If I remember this is the life of a loan) years is $40/year or about a Spotted Cow per month. Worse case, the $968 is each year, that's still about $80/month. Hell, obamacare already spent that money for new grads.

    Thanks Tammy, but if it's a beer a month you're "fighting" for I think we're good. Bigger fish to fry seems to be pertinent here.





  17. Cornelius Gotchberg
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    Cornelius Gotchberg - July 07, 2013 8:19 am
    @Alec;

    I see the mods gave you a second chance; you should embrace that chance, realize the error in your ways, and affect a positive change.

    "I guess its tough to be old, bald, obese and full of yourself!"

    My, my! Only 1 out of 4; pretty sad were we to apply real world standards.

    Since that's not the case in Lefty World View Cafeteria, you get an A!

    The Gotch
  18. Nav
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    Nav - July 07, 2013 8:16 am
    Pete, I can appreciate why you might feel this way. When I wrote my comment, I had no idea that all of the names mentioned were those of people of color, although I knew of Clarence Thomas, Nicky Hailey and Bonny Jindhal.

    Some of the names mentioned by Gotch may could be considered inteliggent by many, but I still doubt they are objective.

    There is no inner racist in me.
  19. gdp
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    gdp - July 07, 2013 8:01 am
    What is happening to the law schools will soon hit basic higher education. Baldwin's pitch seems like a curve ball in this game, missing the plate altogether. Like other losing propositions, formal education is pricing itself out of existence. And that may not be so bad, considering it has dampened something more basic, more in need, a decent work ethic.
  20. pete
    Report Abuse
    pete - July 07, 2013 8:00 am
    smithy said: "Thanks Tammy! At least Wisconsin has one senator that is looking out for the middle class!"

    Thank goodness someone is, seeings that the oval office occupier has done nothing but hurt the middle class since elected. Wall St showing record profits, while the middle class net worth is dwindling over the past 5 years. New grad unemployment levels at all time highs, more grads moving back into their parents house, etc. Fear not, the BLS just released a stat the other day that we are at 54 months and counting for unemployment about 7.5%, the longest streak since they've been keeping track, bravo! at least we have obamacare.....oh wait, we don't have that yet either.


  21. pete
    Report Abuse
    pete - July 07, 2013 7:52 am
    nav said: "If they were highly intelligent people and objective, of course. But they are neither."

    please tell me your kidding? If I didn't know better I would say that your inner racist just popped out. Try to keep that under control next time

  22. Alec
    Report Abuse
    Alec - July 06, 2013 11:05 pm
    @gotch
    More Negativity and judgement! I thought Archie Bunker was cancelled long ago!
    I guess its tough to be old, bald, obese and full of yourself!
  23. toobad
    Report Abuse
    toobad - July 06, 2013 10:48 pm
    Take a grammer lesson.
  24. toobad
    Report Abuse
    toobad - July 06, 2013 10:47 pm
    No, I got a life unlike you
  25. mikeylikesit
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    mikeylikesit - July 06, 2013 9:27 pm
    Curious description of current UW-Madison students and their "struggle" to repay college loans. You see, Stafford subsidized loans don't have to begin repayment until six months after a student graduates. These people who are students now are not struggling to repay loans. They WILL struggle, but saying that they do struggle now is a bit of a misstatement.

    And, really, while the interest rate cut will help those students who have already taken out loans, the low rates in the long-term will continue to wreak havoc on our educated youth. College has not become more accessible than it was one or two generations ago. When my parents went to college, my mom was able to attend a top-flight state institution for about as much money as she could earn in a summer and with a part-time job during the school year, including all living expenses. That's just not possible now, and a big cause of the rise in tuition has been the easy money that has flowed to universities via tuition assistance. That money hasn't helped students; it's helped universities.

    Students, meanwhile, are saddled with debt that will haunt them for decades. The debt prevents them from experimenting and innovating in the workplace while they are young. It forces them into a job--any job--to keep up with loan repayments, and too often it means taking low-paying jobs that graduates could have gotten without a degree. The cheap money entices more students to take on more loans for degrees that aren't gaining them better jobs out of college. That's years of productivity lost to classes and loan repayments.

    College is very good for many, many students. College loans are a trap for many, many students, and those like Baldwin who insist on doubling down on this broken system that enriches universities and banks at the expense of our youth are not doing any good for students.
  26. Crow Barr
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    Crow Barr - July 06, 2013 9:25 pm
    I think the problem is the scam schools, the "for profit" ones that suck the kids in with slick offers, push these "loans" on the kids and don't give them an education that is usable, like Master in Fingernail Decorating!

    Kind of the same thing as dumping tax dollars in "Voucher Schools" that will soon pop up to take our tax dollar and dump the kid with a sub par education AND probably sign them up for a college plan at their sister campus.
  27. jrclen
    Report Abuse
    jrclen - July 06, 2013 9:08 pm
    She represents the leftists in Madison, like she always has. When I wrote her about the Obama gun grab, she wrote back and reassured me that she has a gun too. Evidently her gun is okay but mine must be banned.
  28. Cornelius Gotchberg
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    Cornelius Gotchberg - July 06, 2013 8:10 pm
    @Nav;

    Why wouldn't you ask why I haven't asked them "what 'didn't' happen to youses?"

    All the time; my answer remains the same;

    "If everyone's thinking alike, no one's thinking."

    If one isn't ideologically certified, that sends most Lefties into an inconsolable tail-spin. The Gotch's family has eternal strength and copes admirably.

    Heck; one of the Gotch's SIL's is a "published" Women's Studies Prof in the UW system; we're tight as bolts on a new bridge!

    Go figure.

    The Gotch
  29. Cornelius Gotchberg
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    Cornelius Gotchberg - July 06, 2013 7:49 pm
    @Nav;

    "If they were highly intelligent people and objective, of course. But they are neither."

    Really? Your standards appear pretty high, and for good reason I suspect.

    Yet I'm compelled to recommend an offering from someone whom I highly deem; Dr. Thomas Sowell ( he of the "neither" category) and his theory of 'seductive beliefs.'

    http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell053111.php3
    http://jewishworldreview.com/cols/sowell060111.php3

    Why do Lefties hate this guy so much? He's a conservative minority emphasizing education, personal responsibility, hard work, independence, etc. I'm unsure what his position is on Global Warming; that could be it.

    Dr. Sowell has been villified and called "Uncle Tom," and far worse for one reason and one reason only; he eschews the "Liberal Plantation."

    And that doesn't dovetail with the paternalistic/entitlement/victimology/privileged class/special treatment business model Lefty has been pushing, now does it?

    The Gotch
  30. Nav
    Report Abuse
    Nav - July 06, 2013 7:07 pm
    Just a little reminder that she recently sent Tommy Thompson to oblivion when the people of Wisconsin all over the state chose HER!
  31. Nav
    Report Abuse
    Nav - July 06, 2013 7:05 pm
    @Gotch,

    Respecting that your female relatives love you and vice versa, have they never approached you in connection with your political views and asked "what happened to you?"
  32. lester_burnham
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    lester_burnham - July 06, 2013 7:03 pm
    student loans have fed the obscene inflation of tuition, salaries, and bureaucracy of higher educational institutions.

    student loans are hurting young scholars, not helping them.
  33. Nav
    Report Abuse
    Nav - July 06, 2013 7:03 pm
    Start that petition and see what happens!
  34. Nav
    Report Abuse
    Nav - July 06, 2013 6:52 pm
    Do you have anything to say about what the article is about?
  35. Nav
    Report Abuse
    Nav - July 06, 2013 6:50 pm
    If they were highly intelligent people and objective, of course. But they are neither.

    Clarence Thomas voted against the very same affirmative action law without which he would never have been accepted to law school. He is a very lightweight intellectual.

    Nikki Haley and Bobby Jindahl are very odd Governors who seem to have accomplished very little. Surely, you remember Jindhal's counter address to President Obama's state of the union address a few years back. He looked awful.

    Marco Rubio, your new poster boy, is desperately trying to appeal to Hispanics but they know him pretty good.

    The list goes on.


  36. toobad
    Report Abuse
    toobad - July 06, 2013 6:17 pm
    In order to have an educated guess, one must first be educated. Your posts aren't helpful in that regard.
  37. Cornelius Gotchberg
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    Cornelius Gotchberg - July 06, 2013 6:15 pm
    @Nav;

    Shall we ask Mia Love, Artur Davis, Clarence Thomas, Nikki Haley, Al Cardenas, Bobby Jindahl, Marco Rubio, Thomas Sowell, Dr. Benjamin Carson, etc., etc., what they think of your hypothesis?

    The Gotch
  38. Cornelius Gotchberg
    Report Abuse
    Cornelius Gotchberg - July 06, 2013 6:07 pm
    @Crow Barr;

    I come from an extended family of very successful, whipsmart, and bravely independent thinking (albeit mostly Lefty) women. I love them, and they love me.

    Your comment shows extreme intellectual prepubescence, something I honestly wouldn't expect from you. Perhaps I've misjudged...

    The Gotch
  39. Nav
    Report Abuse
    Nav - July 06, 2013 5:41 pm
    Gotch, you have the parties mixed up I am afraid. My educated guess is that more people identify the Republican party as the party of bigotry and hate over the Democratic party.

  40. geo_
    Report Abuse
    geo_ - July 06, 2013 5:01 pm
    Amazing, we're willing to think about lowering the student loan rate for one year. So why is it the rate given the largest banks in America by the Fed is less than 0.5%. Shouldn't we take better care of our country's future. OH!, that's right the wealthy can afford to pay for a college education, we need the poor and middle class to remain uneducated so as to supply a cheap labor force.
  41. Crow Barr
    Report Abuse
    Crow Barr - July 06, 2013 2:46 pm
    Gotch really doesn't like successful women! Rip those women up Gotch!
  42. MagnusP
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    MagnusP - July 06, 2013 12:49 pm
    Tammy is just a "back bencher", this is an easy one for her to declare on; kind of like motherhood and apple pie.
  43. toobad
    Report Abuse
    toobad - July 06, 2013 12:05 pm
    You're referring to her vote for illegal alien amnesty this past week. She must be recalled.
  44. BananaSplitz
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    BananaSplitz - July 06, 2013 11:16 am
    I had student loans back in the day. It took a while to pay them off. I took out as little as I possibly could and worked doing the grunt work that poor college kids ended up with on campus while taking a full course load each semester. I also lived at school and did not own a car. I walked, biked, and bused everywhere. Every bit of my student loan went to pay down my tuition and room and board. I still came up short and my parents took out a $1000 loan so I could actually get my diploma on graduation day. I am very grateful for those loans (and my Pell grants as well)--but they went directly to the school, along with my paychecks.
  45. smithy
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    smithy - July 06, 2013 11:09 am
    Thanks Tammy! At least Wisconsin has one senator that is looking out for the middle class!
  46. Cornelius Gotchberg
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    Cornelius Gotchberg - July 06, 2013 10:53 am
    I wonder what she has to say about her namesake Alec Baldwin and his selfless efforts to raise a greater awarenesss of Lefty bigotry and hate?

    The Gotch
  47. happydays
    Report Abuse
    happydays - July 06, 2013 10:40 am
    ah- give her a break - she has spent all these years in government and produced nothing - she has to get her name on something - she is already going to have a problem with her gun vote and immigration vote when the next election comes up - those in rural areas are already bitching about her lies -
  48. Report Abuse
    - July 06, 2013 10:08 am
    What a pathetic photo op by the grandstanding Baldwin. Everyone on BOTH sides want affordable loans Tammy. But isnce this industry is HUGE we also want to know how/who is going to pay for it. Instead of your usual worthless finger poiinting how about you become part of the conversation and become part of the solution??? What is your great IDEA for how to pay for this?
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