Republicans Filibuster Bill That Would Keep Student Loan Rates Down
Speaker of the House John Boehner said recently that there was no need to get worked up over the increase in federal student loan interest rates, as everyone would work together to ensure it didn’t happen.
But apparently “work together” didn’t include every Republican Senator, who all joined together to force the bill off the table, keeping it from getting the 60 votes now required on virtually every piece of legislation that faces the senate get so much as a debate, much less passage.
Once more, the point of contention was how to pay for keeping the rate from doubling — the Democrats plan, which would close a tax loophole on S-Corp businesses, or the Republican plan to take the money from the Affordable Care Act, eliminating preventative care altogether.
Ironically, Republicans are well aware of how unpopular their plan is, and used the filibustering of the Democratic plan to avoid having to possibly vote on their own idea. The Washington Post reports, “[Democratic Senator Tom] Harkin insisted that Democrats offered Republicans a chance to vote on their version of the measure alongside the Democratic one, if they would agree to allow the Senate to proceed to a full debate on the bill. But Harkin charged that GOP leaders rejected that proffer because they did not want to force their own members to vote to eliminate the preventative care fund.”
Without a vote, the federal interest rate on student loans will double on July 1st.
Photo credit: Thinkstock