Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa made the following comment on the Senate’s debate today on student loan interest rates.
“It’s hard to understand why the Senate Democrats sought to keep interest rates where they are right now for one year, only to have the Congress have to revisit it, when there are bipartisan, bicameral plans for a long-term solution that are very similar to the President’s proposal. The bipartisan agreement proposed by Senators Manchin, Burr, Alexander, and King would tie student loans to treasury bills in a similar fashion to what the President laid out in his budget and what the House has already passed.
“The bipartisan bill that we weren’t allowed to vote on would give students who would have qualified for the special lower rate some certainty that the rates on their loans aren’t going to double and would result in an interest rate of 3.66 percent this year for all undergraduate student loans, including the majority of student loans that would remain at 6.8 percent under the Senate Democrats’ plan. This would result in significant savings for the vast majority of current students compared to the proposal to extend the special rate cut for only a subset of student loans. So, why the Democratic leader won’t let us vote on an agreement that has such broad consensus is a mystery. I hope before too long we can vote on the bipartisan proposal that can then be signed by the President.”