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GOP Address: Indiana Rep. Luke Messer on Student Loans

Douglas Graham/CQ Roll Call(WASHINGTON) -- In this week’s GOP address, Indiana Rep. Luke Messer spoke of the importance of preventing a rate hike for federal student loans.

Messer began by telling a bit of his own story, saying that in order to go to college he had to pay for it through scholarships, grants, odd jobs and loans. “It wasn’t easy,” he said, but Messer was able to get a good education for himself.

“What makes this country great is that my story is not exceptional,” he continued. “Every year, millions of American students see their career dreams begin with the help of federal student financial aid.”

“Unfortunately,” he said, “in just three weeks, on July 1st, interest rates on many federal student loans are set to double, from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent.”

Messer said that the House of Representatives acted to stop the immediate rate hike and to protect students over the long term, reducing rates for borrowers and keeping Washington politicians out of the business of setting interest rates.

“Taking the politics out of student loans is a common-sense fix,” he said. “It’s a plan that mirrors a proposal in President Obama’s budget.  As a matter of fact, one nonpartisan education expert said, and I quote, ‘the two proposals are really on the same page.”

Messer accused the president of playing politics instead of helping students. Instead, he said, Obama attacked the proposal even though it was similar to his own, “rather than seize this common ground and move the ball forward.”

“Making matters worse, this week Democratic leaders in the United States Senate tried to take the easy way out and maintain the status quo, which will only hurt students in the long-run,” he continued. “After the usual noise and bluster, they failed to pass any legislation that would help student borrowers.”

“Our young people deserve better,” he said. “Student loan relief is just one example of the solutions Republicans have put forward to get our economy back on track.”

Messer concluded by stressing the importance of giving the “next generation their opportunity to live the American dream.”

“Working together, we can,” he said. “I hope the president and the Senate will join us to fix this problem and make life a little easier for millions of students and their families.”

Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio

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