Yesterday, Congressman Will Hurd (R - TX23), who recently voted to freeze college assistance [1], took part on a panel on Millennial Economics that went in-depth into the direstudent loan debt potential consequences of the massive student loan debt facing this generation. 

The panel was prompted by a recent report released by Standard and Poor's [2]. Key excerpts include: 

  • "Massive student loan debt could keep this generation from spending and cost the world's biggest economy $244 billion ($49 billion a year) over the next five years."

  • "The typical Class of 2014 college graduate with student debt will have to pay back a record high $33,000; when adjusted for inflation, this represents almost double the amount borrowers had to pay back 20 years ago" 

  • "Despite the formidable challenges Millennials face from student debt, the overwhelming body of research­­ by Standard & Poor's and many others­­ makes clear that a college education remains the single most important factor positively affecting a worker's lifetime earning potential." 

"Congressman Hurd is clearly talking out of both sides of his mouth on this one. Less than a month after voting to make it harder for millennials to afford college, he's showing up on a panel focused on college affordability. 

The truth is - a college education is a vital factor in a worker's lifetime earning potential but millennials are facing the highest student loan debt in history. Congressman Hurd's vote to make college less affordable is precisely the wrong thing to do for both our young people and for our country's economy," said Gallego for Congress spokesman Anthony Gutierrez. 

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[1] Hurd Voted For House GOP Budget That Freezes Maximum The Pell Grant Award For 10 Years. "On Tuesday, the House GOP released a budget memo that would freeze the maximum amount students receive from the government to pay for college; the grants would be held at $5,775 per school year for the next 10 years." [H Con Res 27, Roll Call #142, 3/25/15; Washington Post, 3/18/15]

House GOP Budget Caps Pell Grants For Ten Years As Tuition & Other Costs Increase. "The booklet also makes clear that the plan contains big cuts in Pell Grants, which help children from families with modest incomes afford college.  Although Pell Grants already cover a much lower share of college costs than they used to, the plan would freeze the maximum grant level for ten years even as tuition and room and board costs continued to rise, and then cut Pell Grants in other ways as well." [CBPP, 3/17/15]

[2] Millennials And The U.S. Economy: The Kids Are All Right (Or Soon Will Be)