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Senate student loan interest rate bill fails on procedural vote

A Senate bill that would freeze a low interest rate on one type of federal student loan for another year, along with buying lawmakers more time to craft a long-term strategy for setting all education loan interest rates, failed to clear a procedural vote yesterday afternoon.

That bounces the issue back to negotiations yet again, as lawmakers try to reach a consensus before the August recess, at which point most students will have to lock in their loans for the coming school year.

The vote was 51 in favor and 49 opposed, not enough to advance the bill.

For the past several years, the federal government has slowly lowered the interest rate for new subsidized Stafford loans, which are available to students with financial need and taken out by millions of undergraduates each year. For the past two years, the rate has been 3.4 percent. That rate expired July 1, bouncing it back to 6.8 percent. Interest rates on other education loans offered by the government have rates of 6.8 and 7.9 percent.

The Washington Post

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