Republican Agenda on Student Loans? Double Interest Rates to Pay for Tax Breaks for Millionaires
Unless Congress intervenes, interest rates on federally-subsidized Stafford loans will double from 3.4% to 6.8% on July 1st, 2012 for over 7.4 million students. President Obama and Congressional Democrats are working to prevent this $1,000 debt increase for students by passing the Stop the Student Loan Interest Rate Hike Act. Congressional Republicans are standing in the way, filibustering the bill and pushing budget proposals that would raise rates on student loans to pay for more tax breaks for millionaires and wealthy special interests.
Timeline of GOP Efforts to Raise Student Loan Interest Rates:
- MARCH 8: Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) introduces a budget that doubles the student loan interest rates, costing students a total of $1,000 in more debt for each loan, to pay for more tax breaks for millionaires and wealthy special interests.
- MARCH 20: During Committee consideration of the House Republican budget, all Republicans voted against a Democratic amendment to prevent the interest rate hike, and instead voted in favor of ending Medicare as we know it.
- MARCH 29: House Republicans passed a budget that allows both the interest rate to double for students and fully eliminates the in-school interest subsidy, costing students $6,250 more when they start repayments and $13,250 more over 10 years.
- APRIL 18: Senator Pat Toomey (R-PA) introduces a budget that doubles the student loan interest rates, costing students a total of $1,000 in more debt for each loan, to pay for more tax breaks for millionaires and wealthy special interests.
- APRIL 24: Senator Mitch McConnell declares that Senate Republicans will insist on vote in the Senate on GOP budgets that allow the Student loan interest loan hike, saying "we intend to have votes on a variety of different budget proposals that would take us in a different direction from the Obama budget." [Press Conference, 4/24/12]
- MAY 4: Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan made clear that he wouldn't close corporate tax loopholes in order to prevent the interest rate hike, saying "Nope. Well, I support closing tax loopholes for tax reform. ... 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."
- MAY 8: Senate Republicans filibuster the Stop the Student Loan Interest Rate Hike on the Senate floor, with 44 Senate Republicans voting to block a motion to proceed to the measure.