Hultgren Huddle - May, 2012

From the office of Rep. Randy Hultgren (R, Illinois 14th District)…

This week, the e-mails and phone calls coming into my office were overwhelmingly about one thing: student loan interest rates.

If left untouched by Congress, Stafford loan rates will increase from 3.4% (the current rate) to 6.8%, which was the rate in 2007. That’s not a graduation present I’d like to hand to the Class of 2012.

This week, I sat down to talk about this issue on my YouTube channel. Check it out here:

As always, go to my website to leave your comments on this issue, or share your own concerns. Next time, it may be your email that I respond to!

Another incredible news item from this week was our Transportation & Infrastructure joint hearing with the Government Oversight Committee. As it turns out, the TSA is in possession of millions of dollars worth of equipment sitting in Texas warehouses, gathering dust. What’s worse, they tried to hide their mistakes from investigators! While the CIA is out catching actual terrorists, the TSA is playing hide-and-seek with Congress-and with taxpayers’ money. I’m working closely with Chairman Mica to bring this mismanagement to an end. You can catch up with the situation here:

This week, I also signed a letter thanking the President for establishing a High Level Working Group on Transatlantic Jobs and Growth. The United States and European Union share a strong economic relationship, valued at over $4 trillion, the world’s largest single commercial relationship. And European firms have invested over $1.5 trillion in the United States, directly employing millions of American workers.

Finally, you may have heard that the House has already started working on budget appropriations for fiscal year 2013. It’s true. Not only did we pass the first of 13 appropriations bills, we did it under an ‘open rule’- meaning that any legislator who wished had the opportunity to file an amendment on any section of the bill. Sometimes the majority party will use the rule system to deny members who wish to offer suggestions in the form of amendments, but Speaker Boehner has made it a regular habit- which often means that the House stays open and voting well past midnight. It’s a long process, but I believe it’s the democratic way to approach it- in contrast to the Democrats, who didn’t allow Republicans to offer a single floor amendment in this way during the last Congress.

If you haven’t already, be sure to like my Facebook page, follow me on Twitter, or check out my YouTube page to stay informed on everything I’m doing on your behalf in Washington and in Illinois.

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