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Senate Proceeding on Mar 24th, 2010 :: 0:06:30 to 0:21:50
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Lamar Alexander

0:06:26 to 0:06:46( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: leaders, and that this amendment then be taken up at a time decided by the leaders. mr. alexander: reserving the right to -- mr. baucus: which is the customary practice we've been utilizing on previous amendments.

Lamar Alexander

0:06:30 to 0:21:50( Edit History Discussion )
Speech By: Lamar Alexander

Lamar Alexander

0:06:47 to 0:07:07( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: mr. alexander: if the senator from montana would permit me to consider that request and then respond -- mr. baucus: i'm sorry? mr. alexander: i wonder if the senator from montana me to consider that request and respond to him in a few minut mr. baucus: withdraw your request and make the request later?

Lamar Alexander

0:07:08 to 0:07:29( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: mr. alexander: if i may consult with senator gregg, then respond; if you'll make the request later, i would be grateful. mr. baucus: okay. mr. alexander: thank you very much. mr. president? the presiding officer: the senator from tennessee is recognized. mr. alexander: mr. president, this is an amendment that 19 million american families -- in which 19 million american families will be interested because it's an amendment to

Lamar Alexander

0:07:30 to 0:07:51( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: reduce the cost of student loans which 19 million americans have. this is the season of the year when a great many students have been admitted to a college or a commity college or making their plans, and they're looking for where they're going to get their money. and what this amendment will do is reduce the interest rate on

Lamar Alexander

0:07:52 to 0:08:13( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: 19 million student loans from 6.8% to 5.3%, or on the average loan of about $25,000 a yea it would save that student $1,700 or $1,800 over that period of time. more specifically, it would prevent -- it would not only help the student but it would help -- it would prevent the

Lamar Alexander

0:08:14 to 0:08:35( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: federal government from overcharging 19 million american college students on their student loans to help pay for the health care bill and other government programs. now one may ask: wait a minute, i thought we were debating the health care bill. how did we get to student loans? that's a very good question, because it just came up over the weekend.

Lamar Alexander

0:08:36 to 0:08:56( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: of course, we talked aut student loans. there have been proposals, but no hearing in the senate, no consideration in the senate committee of which i'm a member. but over the weekend the democratic majority decided, well, look, while we're at it, let's have another washington takeover. let's take over the federal student loan program. and let's take a program which

Lamar Alexander

0:08:57 to 0:09:19( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: is working very well, in which 15 million american students have voted with their feet to say we would prefer to get a regular private loan backed by the government which we get our college campuses, through awe community bank, through a nonprofit institution

Lamar Alexander

0:09:20 to 0:09:41( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: though we have an option for a private loan, many students have said we prefer the student loan through private lender. yet, over the weekend the democratic majority has said while we're at it, let's take over the federal student loan program, which means that starting july 1, students have no choice. you go to the federal government

Lamar Alexander

0:09:42 to 0:10:03( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: to get your student loan -- all 19 million of you, which is a new experience for 15 million of the 19 million -- and the way you're going to do it -- and this is all going to be shet up in a -- set up in a short period of time -- you're going to go to four call centers on the internet. instead of going to your local

Lamar Alexander

0:10:04 to 0:10:24( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: lender or nonprofit instituon who can encourage you as you make your plans for college, welcome to the new government loan program. you have no choice; that's what you're going to do. what are the other aspects of this? well, one is, other than denying choice to 19 million students on more than 2,000 campuses who

Lamar Alexander

0:10:25 to 0:10:45( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: prefer the federal loan program, the federal government is going to have to borrow another half a trillion dollars in order to make these loans. let's think about this for a moment. what is the number-one issue that most americans worry about today? it's that we have too much debt. and so what did this weekend takeover do?

Lamar Alexander

0:10:46 to 0:11:06( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: it adds about a half a trillion dollars to the federal debt in order to make sthaoupbt loans at the -- student loans at the rate of $90 billion.

Lamar Alexander

0:11:07 to 0:11:27( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: these are a lot of loans, and so we have a lot of people in these organizations like ed sougtd -- ed south in my state. all of these lenders are out of business. we have one big bank -- the federal government. the education secretary is the new banker of the year. he's a very good education secretary. i don't know how good a banker

Lamar Alexander

0:11:28 to 0:11:50( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: he's going to be. we lose 31,000 jobs, but here's the rub. here is what my amendment is about. the federal government will be borrowing money at 2.8% and loaning it to students at 6.8% and take the difference and spend it on new government programs, including the health care bill. so we're going to be overcharging 19 million students to help pay for the health care

Lamar Alexander

0:11:51 to 0:12:12( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: bill, according to the most recent congressional budget office estimates, it's about $8.7 billion of the overcharged money is going to go to pay for the health care bill. now, my friends on the other side have gotten up. they've already spent the money, of course. they've announced to everybody we're going to spend it on this, we're going to spend it on that,

Lamar Alexander

0:12:13 to 0:12:33( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: but what they don't tell you is where they get the money, and where they get the money is overcharging students. these aren't wall street tp-pbers we're -- financiers we're overcharging. this might be a single mom going to school in tennessee whoas a job, who wants a better job. sheened borrows some money -- she borrows some money to go to

Lamar Alexander

0:12:34 to 0:12:54( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: the community college, and the federal government overcharges her to pay for some government program. she might not like that. in fact, i think there will be about 19 million student loan holders across the country who will go to school next year and say wait a minute here, you mean you're overcharging me on my student loan to pay for this health care bill and to pay for other government programs?

Lamar Alexander

0:12:55 to 0:13:15( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: and the answer will be, yes, that's what we're doing unless you vote for this amendment. now, the estimate by our friends on the other side is that their federal takeover of the student an enterprise will save $61 billion. if they're correct, let's give it to the students.

Lamar Alexander

0:13:16 to 0:13:36( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: let's reduce their interest rate. $1,700 or $1,800 per student over ten years, which is a lot of savings, is a lot of money. it may not seem like a lot of money to congressmen or senators in washington but to the single mom borrowing the money, $1,700 or $1,800 is a lot of money.

Lamar Alexander

0:13:37 to 0:13:57( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: in addition to the higher priums, higher taxes, medicare cuts, the new cost to states, we're going to be overcharging on student loans. let me use a specific example from tennessee, if i may. i was at the university of tennessee earlier this week. this is the university of which i used to be president.

Lamar Alexander

0:13:58 to 0:14:18( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: the university of tennessee has 30,000 students. 37% of them or 11,251 have federal private loans today. the average student debt is about $20,000. after july 1, all 11,000 students at the university of tennessee, with these federal private loans are going to have to switch to the government

Lamar Alexander

0:14:19 to 0:14:40( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: loans, and the government is going to overcharge 11,000 students who go to the university of tennessee at knoxville and use that overcharge money to pay for new government programs, including the health care bill. they're going to do the same thing to the university of tennessee at martin. there they choose to use the private loan program. they like it better than the government loan program. they think it's more convenient

Lamar Alexander

0:14:41 to 0:15:04( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: for the students. they've chosen it. 3,600 students at u.t. martin have federal private loans. they're going to be out of those loans by july 1. they're going to have government loans, and the government is going to overcharge them toelp pay for the health care program.

Lamar Alexander

0:15:07 to 0:15:31( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: a college at which i'll be saturday, they'll switch from private loans to government loans. they'll have no choice after july 16789 i know a lot of these students. they come from modest families in most cases. they're not going to be happy to learn when they switch to a government loan after july 1, and if they have an average loan, that over ten years

Lamar Alexander

0:15:34 to 0:15:54( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: they're going to pay $1700 to pay for the health care program. at east tennessee state university, it is 8,187 students. in all of tennessee, 200,000 students who are going to be -- who have student loans who are going to be overcharged an average of $1,700 or $1,800 a year to help pay for the health

Lamar Alexander

0:15:55 to 0:16:17( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: care program or some other government program. if we're going to take over the student loan program, we're not going to overcharge the students and use it for the health care program. we're going to give the money back to the students. the point of my amendment is very simple. we're going to reduce the interest rate we charge on 19 million student loans from

Lamar Alexander

0:16:18 to 0:16:38( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: 6.8% to 5.3% a let the udents have the saving instead of letting the government have the savings. that's what the other side hasn't told people about the soont loans. now, if -- student loans. if we had ample opportunity to debate this in the senate, if we had a committee hearing on it, if we had taken it through the regular process, we could have

Lamar Alexander

0:16:39 to 0:16:59( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: pointed it out. no, we did it over the weekend, send it over here, jam it through with breast beating and look at what we've done count. i'm accustomed to that. i used to be a governor. i rember lots of members of congress who would say, i did a great thing in washington, and then send the bill to me to pay. and then the governor, the

Lamar Alexander

0:17:00 to 0:17:20( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: health care bill would do the same thing, it would send to governors in the states new costs our governor estimates that it is $1.1 billion to $1.5 billion new costs that state taxpayers will have to pay and as the medaid kotses goes up -- costs go up, we'll get the

Lamar Alexander

0:17:21 to 0:17:41( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: second blow to the students of tennessee because either the state is going to have to reduce funding for public higher education, which i believe this health care bill will help permanently damage or they're going to have to raise taxes or they're gointo have to raise tuition, or they're going to have to all three. if

Lamar Alexander

0:17:42 to 0:18:02( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: newman or the the university of tennessee, first this health care bill will overcharge me on my student loan to help pay for it, second it will send such big new costs to the government that the governor will have to reduce covering the college or the university and my tuition will go up. all those students protesting

Lamar Alexander

0:18:03 to 0:18:23( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: the raise in tuition will they probably don't realize why that's happening. the main reason is that because over the years the federal government has so regulated the medicaid program that state pace a third of, that the state budges have grown and grown and grown, and the governors, such as governor schwarzenegger has

Lamar Alexander

0:18:24 to 0:18:44( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: had no choice but to cut other programs. and governors know when you get down through the process in state it comes down to medicaid or higher education and so a great the university like the the university of california is on its knees an even hope to -- and to even hope to keep its quality, it raises tuition 34%. my amendment won't help that

Lamar Alexander

0:18:45 to 0:19:07( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: problem. the law that the president signed yesterday already will transfer to states these huge new costs that will permanently damage higher education and raise tuition. but what my amendment will do is say we're not going to in addition causing a raise in tuition overcharge 200,000 students in tennessee for their

Lamar Alexander

0:19:08 to 0:19:28( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: loans an use $800 billion to help pay for health care. sometimes i think, mr. president, the motto of the obama administration is, if you can find it in the yellow pages, government ought to be doing it. i mean, this is really breathtaking. while we're taking over cars, banks, insurance companies, while we're taking over more of health care, we'll just also take over the student loan

Lamar Alexander

0:19:29 to 0:19:49( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: program. add a half trillion dollars to the federal debt, overcharge 19 million students, cause 31,000 people to lose their jobs and say it's all in a day's work. that's what happened last weekend. just over the weekend that's the decision that they did. and then over here bragging about how much they're going to do for everybody.

Lamar Alexander

0:19:50 to 0:20:10( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: well, we're going to do more for everybody if we have a chance to vote on this amendment because you can go home and say, either, i voted to cut your interest rate on your student loan from 6.8% to 5.3% and give you the savings or i voted to overcharge

Lamar Alexander

0:20:11 to 0:20:32( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: you give the money to the government to help pay for the health care bill. mr. president, i would like to include in the record following my remarks a few communications i received from tennessee. here is a letter from vanderbilt the university to congressman ku

Lamar Alexander

0:20:33 to 0:20:54( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: kupper, who said that our overarching concern with this proposal is it forces institutionings, including -- institution sincere that it forces to switch -- this is one of the top the universities in the world, they have chosen -- they believe it's best for their students and their campus to have the private loans.

Lamar Alexander

0:20:55 to 0:21:15( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: and, well, we know better, of course, than vanderbilt the university what's best for the campus an best for the students. we say, no, no, july 1, only the government vanderbilt opposes the elimination of the ffel program, we encourage congress to

Lamar Alexander

0:21:16 to 0:21:41( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: carefully study the many alternate proposals including the high level of serces, products and debt management we believe would come with this switch. we're very concerned that the proposed time frame is unreasonab and they also -- so vanderbilt opposes that. so doeshe baptist college of health sciences, so does

Lamar Alexander

0:21:42 to 0:21:51( Edit History Discussion )

Lamar Alexander: merryville college, so does diresberg state community college. i ask unanimous consent, mr. president, to include these remarks in the record and an article i wrote in "the

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