The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

National and world

July 2, 2013

Student loan rates double without Congress' action

(Continued)

WASHINGTON — The Republican-led House, meanwhile, co-opted the president's proposal and passed a bill in May that linked interest rates to the financial markets but with a cap on how high rates could climb.

The Democratic-led Senate, meanwhile, tried for a two-year extension that failed to overcome a procedural hurdle. A Republican measure, similarly, came up short.

Top White House officials told allies to find any deal that could win enough votes and avert the politically and fiscally costly doubling.

An attempt at a bipartisan agreement fizzled last week when the Democratic chairman of the Senate education panel, Sen. Tom Harkin of Iowa, declared it a non-starter and urged lawmakers to extend the rates for one more year — when they get back next week.

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