Rep. Allen Votes to Address Student Loan Crisis
U.S. Congressman Rick W. Allen (R-Ga-12) voted in support of H.R. 1635, the Empowering Students Through Enhanced Financial Counseling Act, today, which passed in the House by a vote of 406-4. H.R. 1635 ensures that federal student aid recipients receive annual counseling and detailed loan information to assist them in making sound financial decisions when it comes to borrowing and repaying student loans. Congressman Allen offered an amendment to the bill that would allow institutions to provide additional financial counseling above what is already provided for in the bill. It passed by unanimous consent and was included in the final legislation.
*Rep. Allen speaks on House floor in support of H.R. 1635*
Thank you, Mr. Speaker, and thank you Chairman Guthrie for your work on this important legislation. I rise today in strong support of H.R. 1635, the Empowering Students through Enhanced Financial Counseling Act. As the father of four and a grandfather of 12 with one on the way, I understand the anxiety that rising education costs can have on American families.
Students go to school to get a job – not to wrangle with the federal government over student loans. With student loan debt climbing over $1.5 trillion nationwide, we must do more to ensure students are aware of the financial obligations of accepting a federal student loan.
With over 40 years of business experience, I’ve applied for loans, I’ve provided the business plan and performance that I can repay those loans, and over time – I’ve done just that. However, in education, many students and families are not receiving the necessary information about their loans and grants in order to make responsible financial choices.
I want students and families to clearly understand that just because the federal government will give you a loan – you do not have to take the full amount. The less loans you take out – the less you have to pay back. H.R. 1635 addresses the lack of information provided for those taking out student loans.
Students and families will now receive counseling every year and detailed loan information so that students have sound decision-making tools when it comes to borrowing and repaying student loans. As a cosponsor of H.R. 1635, I was also proud to introduce an amendment that will allow any eligible institution to provide additional information and counseling services to federal student aid recipients.
In my district, hardly a day goes by that I don’t run into a former student who asks me, “What am I going to do about their student loan debt?” Once I discover the consequences of their decisions, it makes me more supportive of this legislation so that these young people can understand exactly what they’re getting in to. We owe it these American students to pass the legislation before us today and I hope my colleagues will join me in supporting H.R. 1635. With that, I yield back.
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