Thursday, January 18, 2007

Sessions votes against student loan interest rate cuts

Pete Sessions was one of only 71 Members of Congress to vote against cutting student loan interest rates. Why does that not surprise me?

I found out about the vote last night on DailyKos, from this enthusiastic post by The Hunter Gracchus GU Dems, who wrote Congress finally doing something for ME ME ME!:
Today the House of Representatives voted overwhelmingly to cut the interest rate on student loans by half. I witnessed this event personally, along with 20 of my fellow Georgetown University students and democrats. We were graciously
given guest passes by Representative George Miller of California...

...While the outcome of the vote was well known to all of us in attendance well before the vote actually took place, none of us really expected it to pass so overwhelmingly, a little over 350 to a little over 70. Don't let this deceive you, however. Republicans vehemently opposed the bill...
The final vote tally is here. The bill will reduce student loan rates from 6.78% to 3.4, phased in over 5 years, a scaled back plan from what the Democrats had originally wanted. Students say it does not go far enough. As one student poster on Daily Kos put it, "woohoo massive law school debt possibly becoming marginally less massive!" But George Miller, chairman of the House Education and Labor Committee promises "This is only the beginning. This is a down payment."

We want to increase the Pell grant," said Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., chairman of the Education and Labor Committee. We hope to be able to enlarge the tax deductions for parents paying for tuition and the cost of college beyond that.

And what did Pete Sessions have to say? According to this article from Consumer Affairs, he berated Nancy Pelosi for being "ethically challenged" and went on to extoll the virtues of his friend, Tom DeLay!

Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) called Speaker of the House, Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.), "ethically challenged" for refusing to allow amendments to the Democrats' first six bills, which are being rushed.

The Democratic majority demanded he rescind his comments. Sessions ignored them and instead heralded the efforts of ex-Majority Leader, Tom Delay, who was indicted last year. After minutes of bickering, Sessions finally agreed to have his comments struck from the official record.
Yikes! On behalf of the rational people of TX-32, I apologize for Pete Sessions. I feel sorry for everybody on Capitol Hill who has to put up with him every day. Hopefully, we can vote him out in '08.

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