Neumann Refuses to Stand with Wisconsin Students on Student Loan Debt Relief

Jun 13, 2012

Embraces Washington Republican Plan to Gut Preventive Health Funding for Women and Children Instead of Millionaires like Himself Paying Fair Share in Taxes

Today, Republican U.S. Senate candidate Mark Neumann became the first candidate in the GOP primary to take a stand and oppose efforts to prevent a student loan interest rate increase on July 1st by making wealthy millionaires like himself pay their fair share of taxes.

On Tuesday, Tammy Baldwin challenged her Republican opponents to take a stand on a pending interest rate increase for student loans. In July, student loan interest rates are set to double from 3.4% to 6.8% and Congressional Republicans have blocked action to prevent student loan interest rates from doubling for over 160,000 Wisconsin students. Republican obstruction threatens to increase student debt by nearly $1,000 for Wisconsin students with higher education loans. Baldwin has previously proposed a solution that would freeze interest rates at their current rate by implementing the “Buffett Rule” to make wealthy millionaires and billionaires pay their fair share in taxes in order to fund the Stop Student Loan Interest Rate Hike Act and relieve the burden of student loans on Wisconsin students.

Today, Neumann opposed making millionaires, billionaires and wealthy stock holders pay their share in order to fund the student loan interest rate freeze and instead embraced a Congressional Republican plan to put women and children’s health at risk. The House GOP bill, Interest Rate Reduction Act, H.R. 4628, would also extend the 3.4% student loan interest rate for one year by completely gutting the Prevention and Public Health Fund. [CBO, 4/26/12] The Senate GOP bill, S. 2366, would also gut this Fund. Eliminating the Prevention and Public Health Fund would have a devastating effect on women’s health and our work to prevent disease and illness.

Washington Republican/Neumann Plan

  • Hundreds of thousands of women could lose access to vital cancer screenings
  • Prevention Fund resources are expected to help more than 300,000 women be screened for breast cancer in 2013 and more than 280,000 be screened for cervical cancer
  • Programs that help to prevent congenital heart defects, prevent fetal alcohol syndrome, and promote early identification and intervention efforts for children with developmental delays and disabilities could be eliminated
  • Tens of thousands children could lose access to immunizations

Neumann’s GOP primary opponents, Tommy Thompson, Jeff Fitzgerald and Eric Hovde have remained silent on the student loan issue and have refused to let voters know whether they will stand with Wisconsin students or Washington Republicans who have put tax cuts for millionaires, billionaires and corporate special interests ahead of student loan debt relief for future generations.

All the Republican candidates for Senate have previously supported a Congressional Republican budget that cuts funding for programs that make higher education more affordable for Wisconsin students. Neumann, Thompson, Fitzgerald and Hovde all support a Republican budget that would cut Pell Grants $41 million in Wisconsin, eliminating 5,745 Wisconsin students from the program.