Members of the armed forces and National Guard in pre-deployment training would be able to defer their student loans for up to 180 days, under legislation offered by Rep. Carol Shea-Porter.
The New Hampshire Democrat's proposal would provide a grace period to student loan-indebted service members. Currently, the payment of principal on student loans is deferred for service members during their period of service and for the 180-day period after their demobilization date.
"Service members in pre-deployment training should be concerned with their training and service to the country, not student loans," Shea-Porter said in a statement. "This legislation relieves pre-deployed service members and their families of stress and hardship before putting on a uniform."
A member of the House Armed Services Committee and a former military spouse, Shea-Porter has been active on similar issues during her two stints in office. The Portsmouth Naval Shipyard is actually nearby in Kittery, Maine. But there's lots of spillover into her Portsmouth, N.H.-based district.
A longtime Democratic activist, Shea-Porter beat an incumbent Republican congressman in 2006. But she lost her seat after two terms in the 2010 Democratic washout. But Shea-Porter won in a 2010 rematch against freshman Republican Frank Guinta.
So while Shea-Porter's military student loan bill would seem like a natural for the GOP majority House to pass, it's far from a sure thing. Republican leaders might be unwilling push forward legislation that could help a potentially vulnerable Democratic member in fall 2014.