Federal Relations

Senate Reports Student Loan Progress

Senate Democrats, Republicans and the White House are reporting progress in negotiations to a student loan interest rate fix. A group of Democratic senators, including Jack Reed RI), Joe Manchin III (WV), and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, along with independent Angus King (ME), have been conferring with Senate Republicans over the past 24 hours. The plan, which is broadly based on the president’s budget

Federal Update

Congress has just two weeks before the July 4th recess week to tackle several major legislative issues. This week, the House will try to pass a five-year farm bill that contains controversial dairy policies and cuts to food stamps. It will also revive the abortion debate over a bill to ban certain abortions. In the

House Tries to Force Vote on Student Loans

House Democrats are attempting to force a floor vote on a two-year extension of the current interest rate for federally subsidized student loans and avert a scheduled doubling of the rate on July 1, 2013. They hope to file a discharge petition if they get the support of a majority of members. This would force

CBO on Student Loan Interest Rate Change and Proposals

Today, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) released a report on the impacts and costs of the student loan interest rate going from 3.4 to 6.8 percent. The CBO analyzes the impact to Direct (subsidized and unsubsidized) and PLUS loans.  The report also broadly touches on the impacts to students and the nation if student loans

Student Loan Bills Fail in Senate

This morning, the Senate took up both S 953, the Reed-Harkin-Reid-Murray two year extension of 3.4% interest rate on student loans and the Senate Republican alternative, S 1003, sponsored by Senators Tom Colburn and Lamar Alexander.  The Senate Republican bill would have tied student loan interest rates to the 10-year Treasury note rate plus 3

Today in Congress: Student Loan Bills

The Senate is in at 9:00am and will hold three procedural votes on the farm bill and two rival bills to keep interest rates low for student loans. It’s not certain either can clear the 60-vote threshold in the Senate. The Republican-led House already has taken action on loans – and drawn a veto threat

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

House Passes HR 1911

The House just approved the bill HR 1911, the Smarter Solutions for Students Act. The bill passed by a vote of 221 to 198 — largely by party lines: 8 Republicans voted against the bill while 4 Democrats supported it. Before the vote, several higher education associations agreed to be listed as supporters of the legislation,

Veto threat to HR 1911, Smarter Solutions for Students Act

As we have previously posted, the House is slated to consider HR 1911, the Smarter Solutions for Students Act on Thursday of this week or tomorrow. Yesterday, Education Secretary Duncan all but endorsed the legislation. While the House Rules Committee has yet to meet and determine how to proceed and what amendments will be made

Secretary Duncan advocates long-term student interest rate solution

Secretary of Education, Arne Duncan, testified before the House Committee on Education and Workforce today. During the hearing, House Chairman Klein specifically asked Secretary Duncan to clarify the Administration’s position on the student loan issue. The Republican attempted to elicit an endorsement from Duncan of their bill, HR 1911, the Smarter Solutions for Students Act,

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