Transportation Bill w/Student Loan Rate Extension Amendment Passes House

Berkley Pleased Student Loan Rates Won’t Double On Nevada Middle-Class Families, and Glad Designation of Interstate 11 From Las Vegas to Phoenix Included in Transportation Bill

Las Vegas – Today, U.S. Senate candidate Shelley Berkley released the following statement upon House passage of the bill to stop student loan rates from doubling on Nevada families and to re-authorize the surface transportation program, which included a provision designating Interstate 11 from Las Vegas to Phoenix:
“I’m pleased both sides of the aisle came together today to stop the student loan rate from doubling on Nevada middle-class families.  As the first person in my family to go to college, and as the mother of two sons, I know firsthand how important affordable education is to building a middle-class life, and that is why I’ll continue fighting to keep college affordable so that future generations of Nevadans have the same opportunities that I did to go to college, get a good job and raise a family.

“I’m also glad that the House approved legislation that will make Interstate 11 a reality. Connecting Las Vegas and Phoenix, the last remaining major metropolitan areas not linked by a modern highway, will boost our economy, create good-paying jobs in Nevada and make it easier for visitors to travel to the greatest tourist destination on earth.”

BACKGROUND

Berkley Voted To Authorize Transportation Programs And Extend 3.4 Percent Interest Rate On Student Loans.  In 2012, Berkley voted for the conference report on the bill that would authorize federal highway, mass transit and safety programs through fiscal 2014 at current levels with inflationary increases for certain programs. It would provide $21.2 billion for the Highway Trust Fund, $80 billion in contract authority for programs administered by the Federal Highway Administration in fiscal 2013 and 2014, and $21.3 billion for programs administered by the Federal Transit Administration. It also would extend the 3.4 percent interest rate on subsidized federal student loans through July 1, 2013, reauthorize the National Flood Insurance Program through Sept. 30, 2017 and provide for the distribution of penalties paid by those responsible for the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill to Gulf Coast states for environmental restoration activities.  The conference report was adopted 373-52.  [HR 4348, Vote #451, 6/29/12]

Language Was Added Designating Route Between Phoenix And Las Vegas As interstate 11.  According to the Las Vegas Sun, “a joint committee of Congress inserted language officially designating a route between Phoenix and Las Vegas as Interstate 11…Passage of the legislation, which could come later today, wouldn’t provide funding for I-11, but it would put the route in line for federal dollars to upgrade U.S. 93 to interstate highway standards.  The designation is part of the $120 billion bill to renew transportation funding in the United States for the next two years. Current funding is due to expire this weekend.”  [Las Vegas Sun, 6/29/12]

Berkley Co-Sponsored Bill To Extend Student Loan Rate Reduction.  In 2012, Berkley co-sponsored HR 4816, which would amend the Higher Education Act of 1965 to extend the reduced interest rate for Federal Direct Stafford Loans.  The bill would be funded by closing tax loopholes for big oil and gas companies.  [HR 4816, 4/25/12]

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