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 ManchinTrump flirts with Dems for Cabinet Trump meets with Dem senator amid Cabinet speculation Overnight Energy: Walden wins Energy gavel | Trump looks at Dems to head Energy, Interior MORE (D-W.Va.), Richard BurrRichard BurrDems pledge to fight Sessions nomination Battle for the Senate: Top of ticket dominates Shakeup on Senate Intel: Warner becomes top Dem MORE (R-N.C.), Tom CoburnTom CoburnWill Trump back women’s museum? Don't roll back ban on earmarks Ryan calls out GOP in anti-poverty fight MORE (R-Okla.), Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderKey Republicans ask Trump to keep on NIH director McConnell tees up medical cures bill Speculation and starting points: accreditation, a new administration and a new Congress MORE (R-Tenn.), Angus KingAngus KingAngus King: Trump's not draining swamp, he's adding alligators Overnight Cybersecurity: Last-ditch effort to stop expanded hacking powers fails Intel Dems push for info on Russia and election be declassified MORE (I-Maine) and Tom CarperTom CarperOvernight Finance: Trump takes victory lap at Carrier plant | House passes 'too big to fail' revamp | Trump econ team takes shape Warren calls for probe of Trump hotel conflicts of interest Dem: Trump must ensure business deals don't violate Constitution 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.