Club for Growth urges Republicans in House to vote against student-loan bill

The well-funded, fiscally conservative Club for Growth has urged House Republicans to vote against legislation that would extend lower interest rates on federal student loans, a move that could complicate Speaker John Boehner's (R-Ohio) plan to pass the legislation on Friday.

"The federal government should not be in the business of distorting the market for student loans," said Club for Growth President Chris Chocola. "Decades of government intervention have driven tuition costs to record highs, and continuing these subsidies is simply bad policy. We urge members of Congress to oppose them."

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The group said it would include the vote in its legislative scorecard, which it uses to decide which Republicans it should challenge in primaries. The Club has been effective at rallying opposition to legislation, most recently taking on the proposed reauthorization of the Export-Import Bank.

The bill would extend subsidies on federal student loans, keeping the interest rate at 3.4 percent rather than 6.8. Most Democrats plan to oppose the bill because House Republicans decided to pay for it by taking nearly $6 billion out of a preventive healthcare fund that was part of Democrats' 2010 health insurance overhaul.

House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday said Democrats were whipping votes against the bill.

With Democrats in opposition, Boehner needs to hold together most of his conference to pass the student-loan bill, and the Club for Growth's opposition could help stall the legislation if enough conservatives balk at passing it.