By Alexander Bolton - 04/26/12 07:56 PM EDT
Senate Democratic leaders said Thursday they would reject a House Republican bill extending low student loan rates because it would defund an important part of the 2010 healthcare reform law.
House Republicans plan to pass the bill Friday.
“They would pay for it by stopping Americans from getting preventive healthcare. That doesn’t sound like a very good deal to me,” he said.
“So we certainly don’t appreciate that. We oppose that. Our bill is about building a middle class and you can’t do that by taking the ability of people to get preventative healthcare,” he added.
Student loan rates for an estimated 7 million people are expected to rise from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on July 1.
Senate Democrats have proposed a one-year extension of lower rates by eliminating a tax break for S corporations, which pass corporate income, losses, deductions and credit through to their shareholders for federal tax purposes.
“If it’s true Republicans support stopping the rate hike, they have a weird way of showing it,” said Sen. Charles Schumer (N.Y.), the third-ranking member of the leadership.
“In the House, the proposal they’re advancing has a poison pill attached to it. Their offset is a partisan proposal that tries to refight the debate over the president’s healthcare law,” Schumer said. “That is not a serious attempt to pass this student loan bill.”