Federal Relations

June 4, 2013

Senate Moves to Add Student Loans Fix to Farm Bill

The Senate continues to consider the Farm Bill this week. More than 200 amendments are pending consideration to the Farm Bill, including S953, known as the Reed, Harkin, Reid, Murray bill which would would increase taxes on multinational corporations to pay for a two-year extension for student loans at 3.4 percent. Senate Democratic leadership added the measure as an amendment last Friday.

Although it is not guaranteed to be considered as an amendment to the Farm Bill this week, the Senate will likely hold side-by-side votes on Reed’s plan and a House-passed Republican measure (HR1911) that the House passed last week which would peg the interest rates to the 10-year Treasury note. Each vote would require a 60-vote threshold for passage. It is expected that both measures would likely fail, thus increasing the pressure on the sides to develop a compromise.

Last Friday, Obama has blasted the House-passed bill, saying the legislation could saddle students with more debt than if rates are allowed to double to 6.8 percent on July 1, as scheduled.

The Office of Federal Relations will continue tracking this issue as it continues to develop.