The White House has threatened to veto the GOP-backed student loan bill, but supporters say passage invites input from the Senate to arrive at a compromise before rates jump on July 1.
Congress took the first step toward making sure student loans aren’t another victim of Capitol Hill’s 11th-hour brinkmanship on Thursday as the House passed a proposed fix for federally subsidized college loans whose interest rates are set to double come July 1.
The bill, which would peg interest rates for student loans to the 10-year Treasury bond rate, passed 221-198, with four Democrats joining all but eight House Republicans in supporting the measure.
Despite the starkly partisan vote and a White House promise to veto the bill, the House Education and Workforce Committee chairman, Rep. John Kline (R) of Minnesota, argued that the vote helped move Congress toward resolving the issue rather than coming to a stand-off later this summer.
“President Obama asked for a long-term, market-based solution and that is precisely what we have delivered. It is now up to the Senate to move forward with its own ideas to solve the problem, so we can come together and send a bill to the president,” Representative Klein said in a statement, referencing Mr. Obama’s own student loan plan that resembles the House GOP proposal in some ways.
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