Blumenthal pointed out that student loan rates are higher than the borrowing rate for large banks. Lawmaker missed the July 1 deadline to prevent need-based student loan rates from doubling from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent.

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On Wednesday, the Senate will vote on a motion to proceed to the Keep Student Loans Affordable Act. Sen. Jack ReedJohn (Jack) Francis ReedOvernight Defense: Pompeo lays out new Iran terms | Pentagon hints at more aggressive posture against Iran | House, Senate move on defense bill Defense bill moves forward with lawmakers thinking about McCain Overnight Defense: Trump aide's comment mocking McCain sparks outrage | Haspel gets another 'no' vote | Pompeo floats North Korea aid for denuclearization MORE (D-R.I.) introduced S. 1238, which would extend the 3.4 percent rate for need-based loans for one year and would be paid for by ending a tax break on tax-deferred retirement accounts.

Blumenthal said doing nothing about student loan rates would have serious economic implications for the country because most U.S. jobs require some higher education.

“It seems to me like one of the most effective measures we could take to promote job growth is to increase access to higher education," Blumenthal said. "At the very least, we should not be actively hindering this access by allowing rates to increase.”

Democrats argue that given one more year, lawmakers would have time to address the drivers of tuition increases and the $1 trillion of existing student loan debt in reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.

Sens. Joe ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinOvernight Finance: House sends Dodd-Frank rollbacks to Trump | What's in the bill | Trump says there is 'no deal' to help ZTE | Panel approves bill to toughen foreign investment reviews House votes to ease regulation of banks, sending bill to Trump Senators demand answers on Trump’s ZTE deal MORE (D-W.Va.), Richard BurrRichard Mauze BurrConservatives leery of FBI deal on informant Senate confirms Haspel to head CIA The Hill's Morning Report: Mueller probe hits one-year mark MORE (R-N.C.), Tom CoburnThomas (Tom) Allen CoburnMr. President, let markets help save Medicare Pension insolvency crisis only grows as Congress sits on its hands Paul Ryan should realize that federal earmarks are the currency of cronyism MORE (R-Okla.), Lamar AlexanderAndrew (Lamar) Lamar AlexanderOvernight Health Care — Sponsored by PCMA — VA reform bill heads to Trump's desk Senate panel to consider ban on prescription drug 'gag clauses' Senate GOP urges Trump administration to work closely with Congress on NAFTA MORE (R-Tenn.), Angus KingAngus Stanley KingFor .2 billion, taxpayers should get more than Congress’s trial balloons Overnight Health Care — Sponsored by PCMA — Trump hits federally funded clinics with new abortion restrictions Dem senators ask drug companies to list prices in ads MORE (I-Maine) and Tom CarperThomas (Tom) Richard CarperOvernight Energy: Reporters barred from Day 2 of EPA summit | Dems blame Trump for gas price increases | Massachusetts to get new offshore wind farm Dems question whether administration broke law with citizenship question on census Senate panel unanimously approves water infrastructure bill MORE (D-Dele.) introduced a bipartisan bill similar to what House Republicans passed last month. The Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act requires all newly issued student loans be set to the U.S. Treasury 10-year borrowing rate plus 1.85 percent for undergraduate loans. The cap on interest rates for consolidated loans would be 8.25 percent.

Manchin said he wasn't confident that the Senate could agree on a larger higher education bill by next year. He also said his student loan bill was better because it's a permanent fix for all students not just a one-year extension for the poorest 40 percent.

"Under our proposal everything is 3.66 percent next year," Manchin said Tuesday. "It could go up, you could have inflation."

But most Democrats have said that plan is worse than doing nothing because there is no loan rate interest cap, meaning rates could grow higher than 6.8 percent.

“Proposals that have low ‘teaser rates’ but will only result in high rates down the road will harm our nation's economy and only exacerbate the problems that we face.”

Blumenthal cosponsored a bill with Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenRising star Abrams advances in Georgia governor race Progressive rise is good news for Sanders, Warren Juan Williams: Trump gives life to the left MORE (D-Mass.) that would have allowed students to take advantage of the low interest rates that banks get, but measure hasn't gotten a vote.