Remember all the fuss early last month about the interest rates on student loans suddenly spiking if Congress didn’t act? Student loan interest rates would effective double for just about everyone. Do you recall the deadline to act?
Well, the deadline is July 1 (Sunday). So, true to form, both the House and Senate are preparing to vote on a fix later today, the last possible day to act on the measure as both chambers are looking to shut down business next week for the Independence Day recess.
After a deal was reached in the Senate, both houses will vote on the bill that would prevent the interest rates on federally-backed Stafford loans from increasing from the current 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. The rate increase would hit more than 7 million borrowers.
Because the fix is projected to cost some $6 billion, a fight raged on how to pay for it.
The deal on how to fund the measure was explained by the Washington Post thusly:
The extension would be paid for by raising premiums for federal pension insurance, an idea acceptable to businesses because rules will also be changed on how companies calculate their pension liabilities. The pension proposal came from Reid.
Meanwhile, part-time students would be limited in the number of years they can receive subsidized loans, a suggestion from Republicans.
The student loan fix is being rolled into a highway bill, which is also a fix under a tight deadline (this deadline is Saturday!). Federal highway and transit aid programs and the government’s authority to levy federal fuel taxes expire then.
So a bill to meet two very important spending and tax deadlines will be voted on by early Friday afternoon, says everyone. What are Congress-folk on both sides of the aisle calling the legislation? A jobs bill, of course.
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- Reading, Writing, and the Arithmetic of Student Loan Defaults
- The Student Loan Issue