Vote On Student Loans Will Happen Friday, Says Boehner
Speaker John Boehner announced today that the House will vote on student loans this Friday.
According to the Associated Press, the 3.4% interest rate on current subsidized Stafford loans will automatically increase to 6.8% on July 1st unless Congress blocks it. The rate hike would effect 7.4 million students.
Both Republicans and Democrats are trying to secure more youth voters and both are in favor of extending the 3.4% rate for another year. Both parties cannot agree, however, on how to pay for the $5.9 billion that would be lost.
ABC News reports that the GOP wants to take the money from the President’s health care law.
John Boehner said:
“We will pay for this by taking money from one of the slush funds in the president’s health care law.”
House Republicans plan to pay for their one-year extension from the Prevention and Public Health Fund which was established under the Affordable Health Care Act. The AP reports that the fund, deemed a “slush fund” by Republicans, currently has $13.5 billion in it for the next decade.
President Obama has been touring the country for the last few days, including a stop on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, to talk to college students about the need to stop the interest rate increase on student loans. Obama said:
“Some (Republicans) suggest that students like you have to pay more so we can help bring down the deficit… Now, think about that. These are the same folks who ran up the deficits for the last decade. They voted to keep giving billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies to big oil companies who are raking in record profits. They voted to let millionaires and billionaires keep paying lower tax rates than middle-class workers.”
In a brief announcement this morning, Boehner accused the president of picking a fight with the GOP.
“This week the president’s traveling the country on the taxpayer’s dime, campaigning, and trying to invent a fight where there isn’t one. And never has been one on this issue of student loans. We can and will fix the problem without a bunch of campaign style theatrics.”
Nancy Pelosi, however, said that the Republicans are sending mixed messages. Pelosi said:
“Just last week, House Republicans overwhelmingly voted again for the Ryan budget, which doubles the interest rate on student loans. House Democrats will continue to work to ensure that seven million students and their families do not face this harmful interest rate hike.”
Do you think student loans will increase this July?