“One member of Congress who compared these student loans…I’m not kidding here….to a stage 3 cancer of Socialism. Stage 3 Cancer. I don’t know where to start. What do you mean? What are you talking about? Come on. Just when you think you’ve heard it all in Washington….somebody comes up with a new way to go off the deep end.”
Republicans continue to block legislation that would allow for an extension of federal assistance for college students to maintain low interest rates. Republicans say they support extending the student loan bill … they just want to make sure that it’s paid for with repealing Obamacare or some other off topic discussion like cutting benefits for federal workers. So – the clock is ticking until these rates go up because Republicans insist that the extension which is current law be PAID FOR. All in all – an extension of this law would cost $6 billion but another way to look at it is that it would save $6 billion for college students.
Well – think about that … their explanation is that we must cut spending even for an extension that will allow for student loans to stay at 3.4% vs. 6.8%.
This is what Obama thinks about Republicans blocking the bill that will allow student loans to stay low HERE.
The Washington Post has the story HERE:
On the student-loan issue, the public’s verdict is likely to be especially harsh if Congress failed to reach agreement since leaders in both parties have repeatedly said they agree on the fundamentals.
Obama has conducted a series of college campus rallies to push to freeze rates for another year. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney has said he concurs — as has Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) and Boehner.
Yet leaders have been unable to agree how to pay for the nearly $6 billion price tag and have traded insults on the topic for weeks.
The GOP-held House passed a bill to pay for the item with cuts to the health-care reform effort. It died in the Senate. A Democratic alternative to pay for it by closing a payroll tax loophole for some wealthier small business executives was also blocked in the Senate.
And just a reminder – on May 8th of this year … the Senate took a vote to prevent student loans from doubling in two weeks; it was a party line vote – every Republican voted against it with one voting present and every Democrat voted in support of it (Harry Reid had to vote against it for procedural reasons). Although – the Democrats received a majority with 52 votes – the Republicans used the filibuster preventing the Democrats from allowing the debate on the issue to end. Republicans killed the bill in the Senate which you can read more about HERE.
The NY Times has the story HERE:
The vote was the Senate Republicans’ 21st successful filibuster of a Democratic bill this Congress, which started in January 2011. Republicans have blocked consideration of President Obama’s full jobs proposal, as well as legislation repealing tax breaks for oil companies, helping local governments pay teachers and first responders, and setting a minimum tax rate for households earning more than $1 million a year. Republicans say the measures were flawed and potentially harmful to the economic recovery.
But the student loan filibuster may be the highest-profile stalemate yet, because unlike those earlier bills, this one is not likely to be abandoned. Mr. Obama has elevated the issue by hammering Republicans on it for weeks. American students took out twice the value of student loans in 2011, about $112 billion, as they did a decade before, after adjusting for inflation. Over all, Americans now owe about $1 trillion in student loans. In 2010, such debt surpassed credit card debt for the first time.
Student loan debt has exceeded $1 trillion. (source)
Congressman Paul Ryan (R-WI) is against closing corporate loopholes to pay for this bill. Article HERE:
STUDENT: My question for you would be, would you support closing corporate tax loopholes to pay for that as a revenue raiser?
RYAN: Nope. Well, I support closing tax loopholes for tax reform. [...] So that’s what we want to do with all those corporate loopholes is do that, and with the student loan bill let’s cut some spending because that’s more spending, let’s cut spending that is lower-priority spending to address this higher-priority need.
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