WASHINGTON, DC - U.S.Senator Robert Menendez (D-NJ), an original co-sponsor of legislation that would have extended the 3.4 percent interest rate on federally subsidized student loans for an additional year, released the following statement today after the legislation was blocked by a 51-49 procedural vote in the U.S. Senate.

"The failure to provide a one-year extension of lowered student loan interest rates is nothing short of a slap in the face of students and middle class families who are now carrying an additional $1,000 annual burden since interest rates doubled last week," said Sen. Menendez. "It's poor economic policy to overburden middle class families, students and graduates instead of continuing relief for them while we work toward comprehensive ways to address the rising cost of higher education."