We can all agree that college costs have made it difficult for too many to afford to attend college. Yet at today’s interest rates, the typical student borrower can expect to pay at least $6,000 in additional interest to the federal government over the life of a loan, and some students pay far more. Because of that, the federal government actually makes a profit from student borrowers – about $66 billion on loans issued from 2007 through 2012.
Congress shouldn’t balance the federal budget on the backs of students. Senator Elizabeth Warren and Representative John Tierney have introduced a bill to allow borrowers with outstanding student loan debt to refinance at new, lower interest rates. I am a co-sponsor.
It seems unfair that people of lower income, who must borrow money to get an education, have to pay more for that education. It works against the upward mobility we prize.
I recently recognized the winners of my first Congressional STEM App Competition. The contest, conducted in Congressional districts around the country, asks high school students to develop a prototype of a mobile application to connect Americans with their government. The competition is a reminder of the need to ensure that our students learn the scientific and technological skills essential to their success in the 21st century.
Winners Nishil Shah, Ram Vellanki, and Rohith Varansai from South Brunswick High School created an app called "MyGov" to improve communication between constituents and their respective government officials. My distinguished selection committee and I were impressed with their coding skills and their understanding of the importance of a functional representative government. You may view a virtual demonstration of the app here.
Obtaining a Long Overdue Recognition
On February 15, 1969, while on a sweep mission in Vietnam, C Troop in the 25th Infantry Division of the U.S. Army came under fire. Then-Specialist James Perkins braved heavy enemy fire to keep his advancing troop in line, standing atop his vehicle and using hand signals to direct his comrades forward. Despite sustaining injuries in action, Specialist Perkins remained undeterred.
Mr. Perkins did not receive a Purple Heart, and recently contacted me to ask if he should have received the award. Indeed, he should have. I was honored to recently present the Purple Heart which Mr. Perkins had earned. The long-overdue medal is a lasting, public recognition of Mr. Perkins’ service to the United States.
If you know a veteran who also is due a medal or award that she or he never received, pleasee-mail me or call me at 1-87-RUSH-HOLT so that our nation may properly honor our heroes.