ADVERTISEMENT
On July 1, rates for need-based student loans doubled from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. Senators are expected to debate two competing bills aimed at retroactively fixing the student loan hike this week.

Most Senate Democrats support S. 1238, but a bipartisan group introduced a plan similar to one passed by the House, which would make the interest rate equal to the 10-year Treasury note plus 1.85 percent. The House-passed bill set the rate at the 10-year note plus 2.5 percent. 

Both the House GOP bill and bipartisan Senate bill, S. 1241, capped maximum loan rates above 8 percent, leading some Democrats to say the bills are worse than doing nothing because rates could get higher than 6.8 percent. It is unclear if the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act from Sens. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinDems mull big changes after Brazile bombshell A bipartisan bridge opens between the House and Senate Collins, Manchin to serve as No Labels co-chairs MORE (D-W.Va.), Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrJuan Williams: The shame of Trump's enablers Five takeaways from the social media hearings Overnight Tech: Senators demand tech firms do more on Russian meddling | House Intel releases Russian-promoted ads | Apple CEO says 'fake news' bigger threat than ads | Ex-Yahoo CEO, Equifax execs to testify on breaches MORE (R-N.C.), Tom CoburnTom CoburnFormer GOP senator: Trump has a personality disorder Lobbying World -trillion debt puts US fiscal house on very shaky ground MORE (R-Okla.), Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderObamaCare becomes political weapon for Democrats Senate passes resolution requiring mandatory sexual harassment training Sen. Warren sold out the DNC MORE (R-Tenn.), Angus KingAngus Stanley KingMeet the GOP senator quietly pushing an ObamaCare fix Uranium One deal led to some exports to Europe, memos show Senators demand more action from tech firms on Russian election meddling MORE (I-Maine) and Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperSenate confirms top air regulator at EPA Senate panel delays vote on Trump’s Homeland Security pick Overnight Energy: Senators grill Trump environmental pick | EPA air nominee heads to Senate floor | Feds subpoena ex-Trump adviser over biofuels push MORE (D-Del.) will also get a procedural vote on Wednesday.

Democrats have pointed to Congressional Budget Office estimates that the federal student loan program has generated a $50 billion profit, saying the government shouldn’t profit off students and low-income families.

“Too many Michigan students and families are strapped with tens of thousands in student loan debt when they graduate,” Stabenow said. “We need to be making college more affordable, not raising rates so the government makes a profit off of students.”

Last month, the Senate attempted to pass similar legislation that would have extended the 3.4 percent rate for two years — paid for by ending tax breaks for corporations and the wealthy — but there wasn’t enough support to overcome the Republican filibuster requiring 60-votes to advance the bill.