Senate to try again on student loan interest rate vote - WFSB 3 Connecticut

Senate to try again on student loan interest rate vote

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WASHINGTON, D.C. (WFSB) -

On Wednesday, lawmakers in Washington D.C. could make a decision that will impact millions of American college students.

Interest rates on federal student loans doubled on July 1, and on Wednesday lawmakers are expected to vote on whether to extend the rate that was in effect before they doubled.

United States Sen. Richard Blumenthal has been very vocal about keeping rates down, saying in a news conference last month that college students, like those who go to schools like Manchester Community College, should not become a money a moneymaker for the federal government.

In fact, he said lawmakers on both sides agree something needs to be done, but what they don't seem to agree on is what or how to do it.

The interest rates on new student loans doubled from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent, impacting about seven million college students across the country, including students in Connecticut.

Today the U.S. Senate will vote on the proposal to keep rates at 3.4 percent.

The only problem is some lawmakers feel they just aren't enough votes to extend the current law.

House Republicans passed a bill that links the student loan rate to the United States Treasury cost plus 2.5 percent.

As rates rise, so does the cost of education.

In the United States Senate, Democratic Senator Joe Manchin proposed a similar plan, but the difference is  that the savings won't pay down the nation's debt.

The White House said they don't favor one plan over the other, just saying that Congress should act to fix the problem as soon as possible.

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