Student Loans: Senate Takes on Rate-Doubling Issue

It’s the U.S. Senate’s turn to take up the hotly politicized issue of rising student loan rates before a fast approaching July 1 deadline that will affect some 7.4 million students.
The rate on subsidized Stafford student loans is set to double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent if lawmakers fail to reach an accord.
The Senate plans to vote Tuesday on whether to start debating a $6 billion measure by Democrats. The proposal would pay to keep the current Stafford rate by collecting more Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes from high-earning owners of some privately held corporations.
Republicans have their own bill, which would also freeze the current 3.4 percent rate for another year.
However, eliminating a preventive health program within President Obama’s health care overhaul would fund the rate freeze under the GOP measure. And that proposal has sparked more partisan bickering. House Republicans approved a similar measure on April 27.
Each side considers the other’s proposal as unacceptable, and neither is expected to draw enough votes needed to gain approval.
The House passed the measure by a vote of 215 to 195, with 30 Republicans opposing the bill, and 13 Democrats voting in favor.

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