The clock is ticking. Without House Republican action before July 1st, construction workers will find themselves without work and the safety of our roads and bridges will hang in the balance. Not to mention that students will be forced to cope with doubled loan interest rates.
Unless Congress acts, the interest rate on federally subsidized student loans will jump from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on July 1, raising the cost of college for millions of students.
On the same day, without congressional intervention, a short-term measure funding the nation’s highway and bridge-building program will also expire, forcing construction workers off the job. [Washington Post, 6/18]
Over and over again, Congressional Democrats and President Obama have called on the GOP to abandon their devastating obstruction-only agenda that is wreaking havoc on our economy.
President Obama: Since then, Congress has passed a few parts of that jobs bill, like a tax cut that’s allowing working Americans to keep more of your paycheck every week. But on most of the ideas that would create jobs and grow our economy, Republicans in Congress haven’t lifted a finger. They’d rather wait until after the election in November. Just this past week, one of them said, “Why not wait for the reinforcements?” That’s a quote. And you can bet plenty of his colleagues are thinking the same thing. [Weekly Address, 6/16]
But those calls remains unanswered. This week, House Republicans are (again) filling their floor schedule with message bills to nowhere.
Entering a crucial stretch for the student loan debate and transportation reauthorization conference committee, House negotiators will continue churning away this week while the floor debate will be dominated by election-year energy messaging. [Roll Call, 6/18]
The House will take up the Conservation and Economic Growth Act this week. This package of 14 bills is advertised the way all bills are advertised these days, as being a jobs bill. There are some gems in this one, including a provision allowing deadly force to protect salmon in the Columbia River from “aggressive California sea lions,” and a provision that supports an increase in venues for recreational shooting. [National Journal, 6/18]
And letting their main message man hold court on Capitol Hill.
Americans for Tax Reform president Grover Norquist will be on the hill next week talking to Republican members and their staff in a closed-door meeting to give some insight on what the pledge means… [Politico, 6/15]
Meanwhile, the clock keeps ticking. November may be 5 months away, but Americans need jobs today.