The House student-loan legislation, on the other hand, picks up the $6 billion tab by raiding a part of President Obama’s health-care law that provides preventive and public health services. That stuck in many Democrats' craw. It also created a dilemma for them: Vote against the low interest rate for student loans, or swallow the funding mechanism.
Just hours before the vote, the White House rode to their rescue, promising that President Obama would veto the House version because of the funding source.
“This is one of the most cynical in a long string of cynical choices the Republicans have artificially put before us,” says Rep. Gerald Connolly (D) of Virginia. “That’s odious.... From the Democratic point of view, it’s a false choice and we’re not going to fall for that.”
But the bill likewise ran afoul of some of the House’s most conservative members, especially after two key conservative groups – Heritage Action and the Club for Growth – urged lawmakers to vote against it for different reasons.
“The federal government should not be in the business of distorting the market for student loans,” said Club for Growth President Chris Chocola, in a statement. “Decades of government intervention have driven tuition costs to record highs and continuing these subsidies is simply bad policy. We urge members of Congress to oppose them.”