In four days interest rates on loans for thousands of students in Connecticut are slated to double and the only ones who can stop it? Members of Congress.
Chances of compromise: looking slim.
With the clock ticking, the two parties in Washington are apparently still a long way apart. Democrats want to extend the current interest rate of 3.4 percent for one year.
Republicans want a longer-term solution that would cap rates for some loans at 8.25 percent. That plan would knock about $1 billion off the national debt, congressional researchers have said.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) says that latter plan won’t pass and others in his caucus, like Connecticut’s Richard Blumenthal, are panning that idea:
“We must extend the current rate to give time for a broader look at college affordability—a crisis that merits immediate scrutiny and action,” Blumenthal said Thursday. “Any long term review must take a hard look at whether it makes sense for government to be in the business of profiting off students struggling to earn their education.”
Blumenthal and 34 other senators have signed onto an extension plan. But that idea doesn’t appear to have traction in the Republican-controlled House, which has already passed a version of the 8.25 percent plan.