Fiscally responsible reforms for students, workers and retirees.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT: Steve Forde
McKeon Statement on the Federal Budget and Student Loans
Mr. Speaker, I rise in opposition to the second largest tax hike in American history. The agreement before us includes a tax hike of at least $217 billion by fiscal year 2012. Worse yet, the budget includes a troubling tax hike “trigger” that would automatically raise taxes even higher if surpluses do not materialize due to unrestrained federal spending – a habit I don’t expect congressional Democrats will break anytime soon.
This agreement also includes a reconciliation instruction for the Education and Labor Committee. I have supported reconciliation as a means to reduce the deficit in the past – in just the last Congress, in fact. But clearly, deficit reduction is not a priority in this budget. The fact that our Committee is the only panel with an instruction reflects this.
Instead, I am afraid this instruction might leave the door open for the Majority to abuse this process in order to give Washington bureaucrats a greater stranglehold on student loans than ever before, through a greater emphasis on the government-run Direct Loan program. Let me be clear: I stand ready to strengthen federal student aid programs by promoting competition among – and within – the loan programs, while providing additional funds for low-income students to attend college. This is just what we did through reconciliation in the last Congress.
However, Mr. Speaker, I won’t stand idly by if the Majority attempts to drive a stake through the heart of the market-based loan program. This would be terrible news for students and taxpayers alike, and I will do all I can to fight against it.
With that, I yield back the balance of my time.