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 ManchinJoe ManchinWarren blasts Trump for John Lewis criticism Dems prepare to face off with Trump's pick to lead EPA Manchin: Republicans should learn from Dems' ObamaCare mistakes MORE (D-W.Va.), Richard BurrRichard BurrTrump education pick to face Warren, Sanders Senate Intel panel to probe Trump team's ties to Russia Trump's CIA nominee seeks to calm nerves MORE (R-N.C.), Tom CoburnTom CoburnCoburn: Trump's tweets aren't presidential The road ahead for America’s highways Rethinking taxation MORE (R-Okla.), Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderTrump education pick to face Warren, Sanders 9 GOP senators Trump must watch out for Hearing delayed for Trump’s Labor pick MORE (R-Tenn.), Angus KingAngus KingWasserman Schultz confronted Comey about Russian hacking Maine senator: ‘I haven’t made my final decision’ on Pompeo Lawmakers press Comey on rumors of FBI probe into Trump camp MORE (I-Maine) and Tom CarperTom CarperDems prepare to face off with Trump's pick to lead EPA Justice, FBI to be investigated over Clinton probes Overnight Energy: Former Exxon chief Tillerson takes the hot seat 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.