Student loan debt abounds for House freshmen

Several House lawmakers new to Capitol Hill have a common problem: student loans.

Both Democrats and Republicans in their first terms in the lower chamber disclosed student loans as liabilities on their 2012 financial disclosure reports, which were released on Friday.

Freshman Rep. Jim BridenstineJames (Jim) Frederick BridenstineWeek ahead: Arctic drilling measure nears finish line Overnight Regulation: Justice, AT&T trade accusations over CNN sale | House panel approves bill to boost drilling on federal lands | Senate advances Trump EPA air nominee Overnight Tech: Feds, AT&T trade accusations over CNN sale | Ex-Yahoo CEO grilled over breach | Senate panel approves sex trafficking bill MORE (R-Okla.) disclosed a $100,000 loan from the Education Department for a Cornell University MBA. The debt was incurred in December 2011, according to his report for last year.

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Rep. Mark Takano (D-Calif.) also listed a student loan valued at $15,000 as a liability for last year, which was first incurred in 2011.

Some of the student loan debt can stick with the freshman members for years.

Rep. Joaquín Castro (D-Texas), also new to Washington, disclosed holding student loans for law school worth at least $15,000. Castro first brought on the debt in 2000. Rep. Luke Messer (R-Ind.) also has a student loan valued at least $15,000, which was first incurred in 1994.

Freshman lawmakers’ families also have student loan debt.

Rep. Joseph Kennedy's (D-Mass.) wife has three different student loans attributed to her, altogether worth at least $80,000 and all incurred in 2006. Rep. Grace Meng’s (D-N.Y.) spouse has a Sallie Mae student loan that was incurred in 2004 and is worth at least $100,000.

House members’ financial disclosure forms were released on Friday, detailing their assets and liabilities.

Student loans have become part of the political debate in Washington as President Obama and Republicans have battled over how to prevent a looming hike in interest rates.

Last week, the Senate failed to pass both Democratic and Republican proposals to prevent the rate hike. In May, the House passed legislation to deal with the issue, but that bill has been blasted by Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidDems search for winning playbook Dems face hard choice for State of the Union response The Memo: Immigration battle tests activists’ muscle MORE (D-Nev.).

Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerDems face hard choice for State of the Union response Even some conservatives seem open to return to earmarks Overnight Finance: Trump, lawmakers take key step to immigration deal | Trump urges Congress to bring back earmarks | Tax law poised to create windfall for states | Trump to attend Davos | Dimon walks back bitcoin criticism MORE (R-Ohio) on Thursday said the two parties aren’t that far apart on the issue and said Democrats are BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerDems face hard choice for State of the Union response Even some conservatives seem open to return to earmarks Overnight Finance: Trump, lawmakers take key step to immigration deal | Trump urges Congress to bring back earmarks | Tax law poised to create windfall for states | Trump to attend Davos | Dimon walks back bitcoin criticism MORE-says-obama-dems-will-let-student-loan-rates-double" href="http://thehill.com/blogs/floor-action/house/305429-boehner-says-obama-dems-will-let-student-loan-rates-double" target="_blank">picking a “fake fight” in a deliberate attempt to let rates rise.

Unless Congress acts, interest rates on student loans will double in July from 3.4 to 6.8 percent.