FLASHBACK: Foster Slashed Loan Choices for Students to Pay for ObamaCare

From the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC)…

Illinois Democrat Eliminated Long-Standing Student Loan Program to Pay for His Government Takeover of Healthcare

WASHINGTON — As Bill Foster’s former colleagues face the choice later this week on whether to prevent student loan interest rates from spiking or protect his government takeover of healthcare, it should be remembered that they have faced this decision before. When Foster voted for the government healthcare takeover (Roll Call #167, 3/21/10), he chose to help pay for this massive big-government overhaul by eliminating the Federal Family Education Loan Program, a long-standing federal program which helped generations of students choose from competing student loan packages.

“Bill Foster and his former Washington Democrat colleagues already eliminated a long-standing federal student loan program in order to funnel billions of dollars into his government takeover of healthcare,” said NRCC Communications Director Paul Lindsay. “With this record, it would be no surprise if Foster’s old Democrat allies decide to protect his big-government healthcare takeover instead of preventing student loan interest rates from doubling.”

The House is scheduled to vote on preventing student loan rates from doubling on Friday by cutting back an unpopular portion of the Democrats’ government healthcare takeover:

“An electoral battle between President Obama and Republicans over young voters escalated Wednesday when Speaker John Boehner scheduled a Friday vote to stop interest rates on student loans from doubling this summer. Boehner (R-Ohio) coupled the vote with an attack on Obama’s healthcare law, announcing he would pay the $5.9 billion cost of extending the loans with funds from what he called a healthcare ‘slush fund’ set up for preventive care.” (Molly K. Hooper, Mike Lillis and Amie Parnes, “House to vote on student loans,” The Hill’s On The Money Blog, 4/25/12)

When the Democrats passed their government takeover of healthcare, they funded part of it by eliminating the Federal Family Education Loan Program:

“The Federal Family Education Loan Program, which has helped generations of students attend college, is slated to end June 30. The termination could have long-term effects on some lending institutions… The loan program’s elimination is the result of a provision in the Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act – the health care reform bill – that President Barack Obama signed into law on March 30.” (Mike Costanza, “Termination of student loan program causes changes,” Rochester Business Journal, 5/21/10)

The Democrats took billions from this now-defunct program to pay for their big-government healthcare takeover:

“In addition, $9 billion of the savings would be used to offset the costs of the health care overhaul proposed by the Democrats – an amount that lets the health care proposal meet requirements for the package to go through the budget-reconciliation process.” (Tamar Lewin, “Bill Proposes Increased Aid To the Needy For College,” The New York Times, 3/19/10)



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  • The FFEL program was a wasteful and inefficient system. Instead of taxpayers.paying banks a premium to act as middlemen—a premium that costs the American people billions of dollars each year we now have direct government loans. A Congressional Budget Office review in July 2009 showed that if the government did the direct lending itself, rather than use private sector lenders via FFEL, we will save $80 billion over ten years.That's what we are doing and in this case Foster and the Democrats were right to do it and the NRCC is wrong.

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