Dentist and U.S. Rep. Brian Babin (R-Texas) has introduced the Resident Education Deferred Interest Act (REDI) Act in the House of Representatives. The bill, HR 5734, would halt interest accrual while loans are in forbearance or deferment for those who qualify for the internship/residency category of either of these payment delay options.

The AAO supports this bill in addition to H.R. 4001, introduced last year by Congressman John Garamendi, and for which the AAO has advocated extensively. The Babin bill includes language similar to that of the Garamendi bill, but the latter also includes other provisions such as student loan interest rate refinancing and eliminating origination fees on student loans – both of which may be quite costly. The Babin bill focuses exclusively on interest rate deferral and so offers an additional legislative opportunity to address this high-priority issue.

During 2017, AAO leaders and legislative counsel led dental organizations that worked closely with Rep. Garamendi on his bill. The legislator introduced the Student Loan Refinancing and Recalculating Act with Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick of Pennsylvania. Congressman Garamendi is a Democrat and Congressman Fitzpatrick is a Republican, so the bill had immediate bi-partisan support.