Senate Student Loan Interest Rate Bill Fails on Procedural Vote

July 11, 2013
Washington Post  
student loan news

The issue of borrowing costs on Stafford loans is back on the negotiating table after a Senate bill that would restore a 3.4 percent interest rate to the subsidized student loans for another year failed to advance. The proposal would have helped lawmakers reach a consensus before the August recess and bought them more time to create a long-term strategy for interest rates on all federal education loans. The bill's vote largely ran along party lines, with 51 in favor and 49 opposed, short of the 60 “yes” votes need to advance. Stafford loans, mostly used by low- and middle-income students, for two years have been at a rate of 3.4 percent instead of the standard 6.8 percent; but the lower rate expired on July 1. At a weekly luncheon for Democratic senators, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) criticized a bipartisan bill that proposes setting the rate each year, based on the market and with no ceiling, for all major federal education loans.
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