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 ManchinDems struggle with abortion litmus test Senators push 'cost-effective' reg reform Congress nears deal on help for miners MORE (D-W.Va.), Richard BurrRichard BurrTrump voter who cast ballot illegally won’t be charged Burr: US in new Cold War with Russia Senator: No signs of GOP 'slow-walking' Russia investigation MORE (R-N.C.), Tom CoburnTom CoburnFreedom Caucus saved Paul Ryan's job: GOP has promises to keep Don't be fooled: Carper and Norton don't fight for DC Coburn: Trump's tweets aren't presidential MORE (R-Okla.), Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderLawmakers reintroduce online sales tax bills Overnight Healthcare: New GOP health bill on life support | ObamaCare insurer threatens to leave over subsidies Trump's FDA nominee clears key Senate committee MORE (R-Tenn.), Angus KingAngus KingSunday shows preview: Trump plans next steps The Hill's 12:30 Report Senator: No signs of GOP 'slow-walking' Russia investigation MORE (I-Maine) and Tom CarperTom CarperDems blast Trump's policies at Climate March What to know about Trump's national monuments executive order Dems probe claims of religious bias in DHS 'trusted traveler' program 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.