Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Students Against Jim Nussle press release

From the press office (yeah, right!) of the Drake Democrats:

College Students Launch Campaign Against Student Loan Cuts

(Drake University, Des Moines, IA – Feb. 14th, 2006) – There’s no love loss this Valentine’s Day between students at Drake University and Congressman Jim Nussle over Congress’ recent cuts to the federal student loan program. Students at Drake University will now pay, on average, $1,540 more for 4 years of tuition thanks to the cuts, and are directing their outrage at House Budget Chairman, Jim Nussle.

Nussle, also the front-runner for the Republican nomination for governor of Iowa, led the effort to cut $12.7 billion from higher education, including the largest cut to the federal student loan program in its history. The main change will come in the interest rates on Stafford loans, which will rise from the current 5.3% to 6.8%, causing students to pay thousands more on their loans for college. In response the Drake Democrats are launching their “Students Can’t Afford Jim Nussle” campaign this week to spread awareness about the cuts and hold Jim Nussle accountable for his actions.

Drake Democrats President Patrick Rynard criticized the massive cuts saying, “Jim Nussle is making college less affordable for middle-class families and forcing students to go into even deeper debt. What’s especially reprehensible is that the day after passing those cuts, House Republicans then called for another $60 million in tax cuts, mostly for the rich. This really shows the difference between the Republicans and the Democrats, considering not a single Democrat voted for the student loan cuts.”

The Drake Democrats have started collecting signatures for a petition to send to Jim Nussle, and already gathered nearly a hundred in just one hour. They will also hold a press conference tomorrow to explain more details of the campaign.

Also, students won’t be the only ones facing harder times, as the cuts also raised rates on PLUS loans, loans that parents take out for their children’s tuition. Sophomore Chris Woods is upset because “My parents are going to be paying more than they ever imagined thanks to Jim Nussle's bad budget. All they have ever done, like most parents, is support my efforts to pay for a quality education—but Jim Nussle doesn’t seem to care about that.” Students and parents can figure out exactly how much more they’ll spend by visiting the Drake Democrats’ website, www.drakedems.com."
More to come later. I'll let you know how much, if any, press coverage there is and how the press conference goes. Pictures possible as well, if I can borrow someone's digital camera.


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