Posts Tagged ‘Congressman Rick Crawford’

As Student Loan Rates Prepare to Spike, Arkansas Student Leaders Speak Out on Congressmen Griffin and Crawford’s Vote to Make Students Pay More

NEWS RELEASE

 

As Student Loan Rates Prepare to Spike,

AR Student Leaders Speak Out on Congressmen Griffin and Crawford’s Vote to Make Students Pay More

 

In just a few short weeks, Arkansas students and their families will see their tuition spike because Congressman Griffin and Crawford voted to make students pay more: raising the cost of education for Arkansas middle class families. Congressmen Crawford and Griffin said they’d stand up for Arkansas families in Washington, but just like always, Congressmen Crawford and Griffin have put the broken politics of Washington over Arkansas values – and this time Arkansas students and their families are paying the price.

 

That’s why today, Ezra Smith, President of the Arkansas Young Democrats, issued the following statement:

 

“In just a few short weeks, Arkansas students and our families will be forced to pay more for school because Congressmen Crawford and Griffin put the broken politics of Washington over Arkansas values.” said Ezra Smith, President of the Arkansas Young Democrats. “Instead of standing up for students, Congressmen Crawford and Griffin, voted to spike the cost of college, taking more money out of the pockets of Arkansas’ middle class families. Congressmen Crawford and Griffin said they’d look out for Arkansas families — but when politicians like Congressmen Crawford and Griffin say one thing at home but do the opposite in Washington, it’s impossible for Arkansas students and our families to trust Congressmen Crawford and Griffin to look out for us.”

 

 

BACKGROUND:

Congressman Griffin, Crawford Voted to Raise Student Loan Interest Rates Up to 8.5 Percent. [H.R. 1911, Vote #183, 5/23/13]

AP: House Republican Plan Would Raise Student Loan Interest Rates Up to 8.5 Percent. According to the Associated Press: “Under the GOP proposal, student loans would be reset every year and based on 10-year Treasury notes, plus an added percentage. For instance, students who receive subsidized or unsubsidized Stafford student loans would pay the Treasury rate, plus 2.5 percentage points. Using Congressional Budget Office projections, that would translate to a 5 percent interest rate on Stafford loans in 2014, but the rate would climb to 7.7 percent for loans in 2023. Stafford loan rates would be capped at 8.5 percent, while loans for parents and graduate students would have a 10.5 percent ceiling under the GOP proposal.” [Associated Press, 5/16/13]

Under the “Students Pay More” Act, Graduates Would Pay Almost $5,000 More in Student Loan Interest. The Associated Press reported: “In real dollars, the GOP plan would cost students and families heavily, according to the nonpartisan Congressional Research Service. The office used the CBO projections for Treasury notes’ interest rates each year. Students who max out their subsidized Stafford loans over four years would pay $8,331 in interest payments under the Republican bill, and $3,450 if rates were kept at 3.4 percent. If rates were allowed to double in July, that amount would be $7,284 over the typical 10-year window to repay the maximum $19,000.” If the Republican plan were implemented, college graduates would pay $4,881 more in interest, compared to the current rate. [Associated Press, 5/16/13]

56 Percent of Arkansas Students Graduate with Debt. The Project on Student Debt reported that 56 percent of Arkansas college students graduate with debt, with an average of $23,048 per borrower. [Project on Student Debt, accessed 6/06/13]

 

Almost 70,000 Stafford Loan Borrowers in Arkansas. There are 68,243 Stafford loan borrowers in Arkansas. [Center for American Progress, June 2013]

 

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Arkansas Farmers Launch Calls to Challenge Congressman Rick Crawford for Taking Five Week Paid Vacation Without Passing Farm Bill

Arkansas Farmers Launch Calls to Challenge Congressman Rick Crawford for Taking Five Week Paid Vacation Without Passing Farm Bill

 

(LITTLE ROCK) Arkansas farmers began calling hardworking families across the district to ask Congressman Crawford why he voted to take a five-week, taxpayer-funded vacation without passing a 2012 Farm Bill.

“These are challenging times for Arkansas farmers, during one of the worst droughts in recent history, and Congressman Crawford is taking a five-week vacation at the taxpayer’s expense,” Candace Martin with the Democratic Party of Arkansas said. “Arkansas farmers and families deserve answers on why Congressman Crawford has abandoned them for a taxpayer-funded vacation without passing a 2012 Farm Bill. Arkansas farmers aren’t resting and neither should Congressman Crawford.”

The calls were paid for by the Democratic Party of Arkansas. Calls were placed into Poinsett, Clay, and Greene Counties, saying:

“Just last week the Arkansas Democrat Gazette reported that the Republican Leadership and Congressman Rick Crawford have decided to hold up the Farm Bill.   And now Rick Crawford is on a five week taxpayer funded vacation. Struggling farmers in Arkansas are facing one of the worst droughts in history, but they aren’t taking a 5-week paid vacation and neither should Congressman Crawford.  Call Rick Crawford now at (870) 203-0540 and demand that he get back to work, pass the Farm Bill, and help Arkansas farmers.”

 

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News Release: Crawford Votes to Take Vacation While Farmers Hurting Without Farm Bill

Crawford Votes to Take Vacation While Farmers Hurting Without Farm Bill

 

(LITTLE ROCK) Congressman Rick Crawford and his Tea Party Republican allies completely abandoned Arkansas farmers yesterday, voting to take a five week vacation without delivering a 2012 farm bill or a one-year extension of the current farm bill while Arkansas farmers face one of the worst droughts in recent history.

“Arkansas farmers are working around the clock to keep our farms, our food supply, and a huge economic driver in our state afloat; Congress should be doing the same,” Candace Martin with the Democratic Party of Arkansas said. “No farmers or small business owner in America would take a 5-week paid vacation after failing as miserably as much as Congressman Crawford has failed. Congressman Crawford has left behind Arkansas farmers by voting to take this five week vacation, which is completely unacceptable to the people of the First Congressional District.”

Background

 

House Republicans Voted to Go on a Five Week Vacation. On August 2, 2012, Republicans voted to adjourn the House of Representatives. They were not scheduled to return to Washington until September 10, 2012. [S Con Res 56, Vote#556, 8/2/12; House Majority Leader’s House Calendar, accessed 8/2/12]

 

Congress bolts Washington with much left to do. “Members of Congress streamed out of the Capitol looking forward to five weeks of vacation and a fall fraught with decisions on the political and economic future of the country.” [AP, 8/3/12]

Crawford Said Chances of Five Year Extension Were “Really Good” but His Republican Colleagues Have Held Up Farm Bill. Congressman Rick Crawford said the chances of the five year extension of the farm bill  are “really good,” and he predicted a “groundswell of support” from his fellow House Republicans.  However, “House GOP leaders Tuesday decided to drop plans to extend the current farm program for one year” because of Crawford’s fellow Republicans.   [Associated Press, 7/31/12; Dewitt Era-Enterprise, 7/18/12]

1st District Accounted for 63 Percent of Arkansas’ Agriculture Subsidies. In 2010, Arkansas 1st Congressional District accounted for 63 percent of Arkansas’ total agriculture subsidies. Arkansas received $1.8 billion in direct farm payments from 1995 to 2009. [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 4/15/11]

 

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News Release: Congressman Crawford and his Washington Allies Continue to Fail Arkansas Farmers

Congressman Crawford and His Washington Allies

Continue to Fail Arkansas Farmers

(LITTLE ROCK) Today, the farm bill became the most recent victim of Congressman Crawford’s dysfunctional Congress. Less than two weeks ago, Congressman Rick Crawford said the chances of the House of Representatives passing five year extension of the Farm Bill were “really good,” and he predicted a “groundswell of support” from his fellow House Republicans. However, last week Congressman Crawford’s Republican leadership has “back-burned” the five year extension of the farm bill by refusing to bring the measure to a floor vote because of Tea Party Republicans.

Yesterday, Arkansas farmers and ranchers just received even more bad news from Washington.  Despite possible discussion for a one year extension of the farm bill coupled with drought relief, Crawford’s Washington allies decided “to drop plans to extend the current farm program for one year.”

“Sadly, Arkansans have become accustomed to expecting only dysfunctional and gridlock from Congressman Crawford’s Washington allies,” said Candace Martin, communications director for the Democratic Party of Arkansas. “While hardworking Arkansas farmers are facing uncertainty amid a dangerous drought, Congressman Crawford’s partisan Congress has failed to pass legislation critical to the state’s economy.”

Just last week, Congressman Crawford has claimed that “it is essential that Congress vote on a Farm Bill” before the August recess.

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Background

1st District Accounted for 63 Percent of Arkansas’ Agriculture Subsidies. In 2010, Arkansas 1st Congressional District accounted for 63 percent of Arkansas’ total agriculture subsidies. Arkansas received $1.8 billion in direct farm payments from 1995 to 2009. [Arkansas Democrat-Gazette, 4/15/11]

 

Congressman Crawford’s Disastrous Record on Agriculture Cuts Threatens Farm Bill

NEWS RELEASE

 Congressman Crawford Disastrous Record on Agriculture Cuts Threatens Farm Bill

This week, the House Agriculture Committee announced they will be holding hearings over the proposed 2012 Farm Bill, but the farm bill could be in jeopardy because of extreme cuts supported by Rick Crawford. Last month, Crawford supported the  House Republican budget which calls for over $30 billion in cuts to essential agriculture programs for Arkansas farmers even though his district received 63% of all subsides to Arkansas farmers. The USA Rice Association said that they were “troubled” by the proposed cuts and American Soybean Association called the proposal “worrisome.”

 

“Congressman Rick Crawford continues to fail Arkansas farmers,” said Candace Martin of the Democratic Party of Arkansas. “Although Republicans and Democrats have come together to support reasonable cuts to agriculture in order to reduce our deficit, the farm bill and key agriculture programs could now be in jeopardy because of these troubling cuts supported by Congressman Crawford. Arkansas famers deserve a Representative that will truly fight for the economic interests of the district and be a strong voice for the vital cotton, rice and soybean industries.”

 

Background

 

Crawford Voted for Budget with At Least $30 billion in Agriculture Cuts. According to Delta Farm Press, “the plan would cut agriculture spending some $30 billion over the next decade and those writing the next farm bill will have to adhere to those limits.” In addition, “the House Budget committee has specified FY 2013 reconciliations savings for six committees, including the Agriculture Committee to achieve $33.2 billion over 10 years (2012-2022). However, Chairman Ryan’s proposal says the six committees ‘will be responsible for determining how to meet their reconciliation instructions.’” [Delta Farm Press, 3/20/12; Western Farm Press, 3/21/12; H Con Res 112, Vote #151, 3/29/12]

 

 

Farmers Facing Uncertainty Because of Ryan Budget. “Farmers may face some uncertainty by harvest time as Congress grapples with rewriting the farm bill before it expires in September. On the table are big cuts in federal farm spending […] [The] road might be rougher than [House Agriculture Committee Chairman Frank Lucas is] letting on, thanks to the House budget road map authored by U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan.” The Ranking Member of the House Agriculture Committee said that the Ryan budget would “guarantee there will be no farm bill this year.” [National Public Radio, 4/9/12; Bloomberg, 3/20/12]

 

American Soybean Association Critical of Proposal. Danny Murphy of the American Soybean Association said that “The cuts that Chairman Ryan proposes … are significantly higher than those agreed upon by House and Senate agriculture committee leadership during the ‘super committee’ process last fall, and that concerns us. Especially worrisome is (Ryan’s) emphasis on the federal crop insurance program as an area for reduction. Crop insurance serves as the main safety net for America’s farmers, and its integrity must be protected.” [Delta Farm Press, 3/21/12; American Soybean Association, 3/20/12]

 

USA Rice Association “Troubled” by Ryan Budget Proposal. “The USA Rice Federation is seriously troubled by the level of proposed budget cuts to agriculture programs included in the fiscal year 2012 budget resolution offered by House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan [….]The resolution proposes $175 billion in cuts over 10 years — a reduction of more than 20 percent to the budget baseline for agriculture and nutrition programs. ‘Agriculture is being asked to shoulder a hugely disproportionate share of deficit reduction relative to our impact on the federal budget,” USA Rice Federation chairman and Louisiana rice producer Jackie Loewer said. ‘We have already sustained significant budget cuts, and contributed $4 billion to deficit reduction in the SRA negotiations, yet we are being subjected to proposed cuts that would make crafting the next farm bill all but impossible.’” [Delta Farm Press, 4/6/11]

 

 

National Farmers Union: Congress Balancing Budget on Backs of Rural America. “National Farmers Union (NFU) President Roger Johnson said “Once again, we see that Congress is attempting to balance the budget on the backs of rural America. The proposed cuts to Agriculture spending would severely constrain the ability of the next farm bill to provide policy that protects against yield losses and when markets collapse […] Agriculture has been ready and willing to do its part in reducing the federal deficit, but Rep. Ryan’s budget proposes total cuts to farm bill spending of more than $155 billion. A cut of more than $33 billion to the safety net over the next ten years is too much. This is $10 billion more than the agreement reached late last year in a bipartisan, bicameral manner by the House and Senate Agriculture Committees.” [National Farmers Union, 3/20/12]

 

Ryan’s Cuts So Deep It Would Dismember Bi-partisan House and Senate Bill.  “Published comments by Congressman Rick Berg, R-N.D., about a new farm bill seem to be at odds with his voting record in the U.S. House. An enthusiastic supporter of the so-called Ryan budget proposal, Berg also said he supports the U.S. Senate’s farm bill. That’s curious because farm bill provisions in Rep. Paul Ryan’s, R-Wis., budget plan are far different and far less generous than those in the Senate’s version […]What is not perfectly clear, however, is Berg’s vote for the Ryan budget as it relates to farm legislation. The Ryan ax slashes about $180 billion over 10 years in farm, conservation and nutrition funding. However, House and Senate agriculture committees agreed to cut $23 billion from the same farm bill programs. The difference is significant, to say the least […] The bill proposed by House and Senate ag committees makes major cuts in farm program spending, which are necessary. But the bipartisan Senate bill does not sacrifice a market-based safety net for producers. Nor does it scuttle a better USDA/private insurer crop insurance partnership. Ryan’s cuts are so deep they likely would dismember both.” [InForum Fargo Editorial, 4/17/12]