Members of Congress Feel Student Loan Pain FirsthandLast spring, Rep. Virginia Foxx (R-N.C.) caused a stir when she said in an interview she had "very little tolerance" for people who graduated from college with high levels of student loan debt because she didn't believe it was necessary. The comment struck a nerve, since Foxx chairs the House Education and Workforce Committee's subpanel on higher education and workforce training. While Foxx never borrowed money to attend college, the OpenSecrets.org analysis of personal financial disclosures shows that this year, four members of her subcommittee report having student loan debt: Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nev.), freshman Rep. Luke Messer (R-Ind.), Rep. Matt Salmon (R-Ariz.) and Rep. Glenn Thompson (R-Pa.).
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The common refrain that things never change is not true. Institutions often change slowly, undermined by changes they themselves have wrought. This is a classic case developing in the House Education and Workforce Committee. This bodes well for the restoration of the right to declare bankruptcy - a right in the Constitution wrongly taken from students in the first place. A few well written letters to the participants in this subcommittee about the uniform bankruptcy provision in Article 1, Section 8 may cause the subject to be discussed in a committee meeting. That would get the issue into the public record. If you have school loans then writing a letter to the four members of this committee with school loans is well worth your time.