Friday: Student loan interest rate, cyber bills in the House

The GOP bill would keep the interest rate on Stafford loans at 3.4 percent for another year, a goal Democrats support. But the bill pays for the $6 billion cost by shutting down the Prevention and Public Health Fund created by the 2010 healthcare law.

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Republicans call the fund a "slush fund," and argue that it is not a key tool for maintaining women's health, as Democrats say, but instead has been used for far less important reasons, such as funding ad campaigns against soda and snack food.

While most Democrats will oppose the bill, House passage will allow Republicans to claim that they have addressed the interest rate issue. It will also give them significant leverage against Senate Democrats, who have proposed a bill that pays for the interest rate extension by collecting more taxes from high-income earners. Republican opposition to that bill could make it difficult for the Senate to pass its preferred measure.

Without legislation, the interest rate on federally subsidized student loans will jump from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent starting July 1.

Also in the House Friday, the House will consider two more cybersecurity bills. These are H.R. 2096, the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act, and H.R. 3834, the Advancing America's Networking and Information Technology Research and Development Act.

The House approved two cybersecurity bills on Thursday. All votes Friday are expected by the early afternoon, and after work today, the House will leave Washington for a week.

The Senate already left for its break on Thursday evening.