GOP Drives Passage of Loan Bill

By Doug Lederman; published on July 25, 2013 at Inside Higher Ed.

WASHINGTON — With Republicans voting overwhelmingly in favor, the U.S. Senate on Wednesday approved legislation to link interest rates on student loans to the market, which would cut rates in the short term but potentially allow them to rise significantly within a few years.

The margin of the vote, 81 to 18, surprised supporters of the bipartisan compromise, given numerous expressions of opposition by Democrats. All but one of the Senate’s “no” votes were from Democrats (Republican Mike Lee of Utah was the one “no” from his party), many of whom voted for an alternative pushed by Sens. Elizabeth Warren and Jack Reed and another proposal that would have sunsetted the proposal before rates were likely to spike.

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