It was extremely encouraging to learn that Indiana’s unemployment rate is now below the national average and continues
to decline. However, it is of little comfort to the nearly 10 percent of Hoosiers currently unemployed. Nor is it comforting
to those who are on the verge of losing their jobs.
Such is the case at Sallie Mae, where I have worked for over
10 years. I manage a team of dedicated employees who are committed to helping students achieve their dream of attaining a
higher education. We have helped Sallie Mae become the service provider that more students and families rely on. However,
our jobs are now at stake.
In fact, there are 2,300 hard-working and well-paid professionals here in Indiana whose
jobs are hanging in the balance while Congress debates a bill (H.R. 3221) that would eliminate the private student loan industry
as we know it. The bill in its current form would mandate that all student loans be originated and disbursed through the government-run
loan program, even though students and schools overwhelmingly prefer the products and services offered by the private sector.
The irony here is that Indiana enjoys a declining unemployment rate that is largely attributable to our pro-business
and growth policies, even while the federal government conspires to reduce competition and eliminate jobs in the private sector.
And as the battle heats up in the Senate, it is very likely that it could all come down to one or two votes. That
is why it is crucial that our two senators do the right thing by standing up in support of saving jobs in Indiana. A declining
unemployment rate is good news for Indiana, but that does not mean that we can afford to sit idly by as Congress considers
the merits of a bill that would eliminate good-paying jobs.