Monday, July 1, 2013


Student loan rates double as Senate fails to find compromise

Student loan rates will double Monday after Senate education panel members failed to find a compromise on the topic.

Student loan debt: Student loan debt Americans

Student loan rates will double Monday to 6.8 percent — at least for a while — after a compromise to keep student loan interest rates low proved unwinnable before the July 1 deadline, senators said Thursday.

Sen. Tom Harkin, the chairman of the Senate education panel, said none of the proposals being circulating among lawmakers could win passage, and he urged lawmakers to extend the current rates for another year when they return from the July 4 recess. Harkin said his colleagues could retroactively restore the current rates after the holiday.

Congress misses deadline, student loans double"Let's put this off for a year," Harkin, D-Iowa, told reporters.
Lawmakers scrambled last week to introduce last-minute bills to keep student loan interest rates from doubling on July 1, but even supporters doubted any measure would pass in time.

Lawmakers have known about the interest rate deadline for a year, after postponing the issue last summer. What has emerged instead is finger-pointing.

"As a result of their (Democratic) obstruction, interest rates on some new student loans will increase next week. The Republican House has already passed legislation and Senate Republicans, along with the President, are ready to pass bipartisan student loan reform that will ensure that student loan rates don't double on July 1st," a spokesman for Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said in a statement on Wednesday.

By midweek several lawmakers had switched their tones from hopeful to pessimistic.

"This is not going to be pleasant," Representative George Miller, the senior Democratic member of the House Education and the Workforce Committee, told Reuters. "Students and their families are not going to be happy about this."

Student loan debt totals $870 billion for Americans.

Student loan rates: Senate Democrats Hold News Conference On Student Loan Rates
Sen. Tom Harkin, D- Iowa, and Sen. Jack Reed, D-Rhode Island, look at a chart on student loans during a news conference on Capitol Hill.
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