A bill aimed at extending low interest rates for student loans has been voted down, despite support from Delaware lawmakers.
Republican Senators blocked further work on Tuesday on the “Stop the Student Loan Interest Rate Hike Act of 2012.” The 52-45 vote of the Democrat-sponsored bill that would extend low interest rates on federally subsidized student loans for another year means that undergraduates will see a rate hike on new loans. The increase could go from 3.4 percent to nearly 7 percent by the summer.
According to Senator Chris coons, D-Del., getting a vote on the Student Loan Interest Rate Hike Act could have been a first step in a journey to make college more accessible and affordable. “Getting the higher education necessary to get a good job in this economy simply should not leave our young people buried under a crushing mountain of debt. We can’t afford it,” added Coons.
Politicians believe an extension of low student loan rates, would protect more than seven million students from seeing their rates double.
“Today the total amount of student loan debt held in this country eclipsed $1 trillion, and with the interest rates on federal student loans set to double this summer, it is important that Congress begins to confront this problem.”
Senate Republicans chose not to support the Democratic bill because of the way it was designed to pay for the extension. Privately owned companies would have been required to pay higher payroll taxes for Social Security and Medicare.