House GOP Passes Version of Student Loan Relief At Expense of Women
The House GOP passed its version of a student loan relief package that would extend low-interest rates under the Stafford Loan program.
Lawmakers voted 215-195 to approve a bill that has become an election-year battle between the two parties over helping families in a persistently ailing economy. The measure sparked debate over women’s health issues, too.
The White House and most Democrats opposed the $5.9 billion bill because of how Republicans covered the costs: eliminating a preventive health care fund in President Barack Obama’s health care law. They say the program mostly benefits women, while Republicans call it a loosely controlled slush fund.
“This is a politically motivated proposal and not the serious response that the problem facing America’s college students deserves,” the White House wrote in a veto message shortly before the House vote.
Democrats accused Republicans of supporting the effort to keep student loan interest rates low only because of political pressure from Obama.
The House measure is destined to die in the Senate, where majority Democrats have written a version of the bill paid for by raising Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes on high-income owners of some privately owned companies, which GOP senators oppose.
GOP lawmakers were pressured by conservative groups like the Club for Growth to oppose the legislation because, they said, the government should not subsidize student loans. In the end, 30 Republicans voted no, while 202 voted yes.
The GOP’s solution for solving the student loan funding was to gut funding for preventative health care that is primarily aimed at women under the HCR package.
That’s the modern GOP for you. They’ll claim that this money wasn’t sufficiently controlled or a slush fund, but can’t defend the fact that it was designed to help women and low-income households with their health care expenses. In fact, preventative health care is something of a bargain since catching and treating ailments early can save money in the long run.