Divided Congress Likely to Agree on Student Loans
One way or another, the Congress seems certain to prevent a low interest rate for federal student loans from doubling on July 1, aides and analysts say, largely because lawmakers do not want to rile young voters before the November 6 elections.
Yet it remains unclear how - or even if - Congress will pay for a one-year-renewal of the 3.4 percent rate for about 7.4 million students, which would cost about $6 billion.
Senate Republicans on Tuesday are expected to block a proposal by President Barack Obama’s Democrats to cover the cost by plugging what they call a tax loophole for the rich.
Senate Democrats are expected to reject a bill passed two weeks ago by the Republican-led House of Representatives to fund it by taking money away from Obama’s healthcare overhaul.
Regardless, members of both sides voice confidence that someway, somehow, a bipartisan agreement will be reached before July 1, when the rate is set to double to 6.4 percent on subsidized student “Stafford” loans.