Senate takes up student loans

Senate considering competing bills to keep student loan rates from doubling

Associated Press

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Senate is taking up legislation to keep student loan rates low, at least for now.

The Democratic-controlled Senate on Thursday was set to consider competing versions of student loan proposals. Democrats want to extend the current 3.4 percent interest rate on new subsidized Stafford loans for two more years while lawmakers do a comprehensive overhaul. Republicans, meanwhile, want to link interest rates to 10-year Treasury notes.

It's not clear either proposal has enough votes to move forward.

Without congressional action, interest rates on new subsidized Stafford loans would double to 6.8 percent on July 1.

The Republican-led House already has passed legislation similar to the Senate Republicans' proposal.

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