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Sallie Mae Pays Off Musgrave for Her Votes - 8/2/2006

For Immediate Release: August 2, 2006
Contact: James Thompson
(970) 222-6397

Sallie Mae Pays Off Musgrave for Her Votes

Marilyn Musgrave gets another $2,000 bonus for voting against America’s college students

FORT COLLINS—As payoff for her vote to raise student loan interest rates, Marilyn Musgrave was given another $2,000 bonus by Sallie Mae, according to her campaign’s latest finance reports.

Sallie Mae, which has contributed a total of $8,000 to Musgrave since 2004, is already making millions off of Musgrave’s vote on S. 1932, while college becomes less accessible to working Americans.

“Sallie Mae put Marilyn on their payroll in 2004, and she’s been doing their bidding ever since,” said Angie Paccione, Musgrave’s opponent in Colorado’s Fourth Congressional District race. “What Marilyn doesn’t realize is that she’s supposed to be working for the American people, not the special interests.”

On July 1, the interest rate on government-guaranteed loans increased by 30 to 40 percent because of S. 1932, the so-called “Deficit Reduction Act of 2005,” which actually increased the deficit by $30 billion, and which Rep. Marilyn Musgrave approved instead of more comprehensive deficit reduction plans proposed by Democrats.

On July 1, the rate for Stafford loans for students who are in school, grace or deferment rose from 4.7 percent to 6.54 percent. The rate for Stafford loans in repayment rose from 5.3 percent to 7.14 percent . The rate for PLUS loans rose from 6.1 percent to 7.94 percent.

In all, the Republican-led Congress has slashed $12 billion from federal student aid programs to help finance $70 billion in tax breaks for the wealthiest Americans.

Sallie Mae and its employees have contributed $2.7 million to Congress members and congressional PACs since 2002, including $8,000 to Musgrave’s campaigns ($5,000 this year and $3,000 in the 2004 election cycle).

A bill proposed by Democrats to counter the interest rate hikes, H.R. 5150, would have cut interest rates in half for students with subsidized student loans, and for families most in need. But the Reverse the Raid on Student Aid Act was stifled by Republicans in
Congress and is dying in committee. It would have saved the typical student borrower $5,600.

“Sallie Mae is giving Marilyn her share of the billions they will make off of college students,” Paccione said. “Her ties to special interests certainly pay off for her and for them, but average Americans are left either without an education or with crippling debt. When I get to Congress, I will be a principled leader who won’t be bought and sold by special interests.”

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Paid for by Angie Paccione for Congress