Reed's student loan interest limit fails again

Jul 10, 2013

Rhode Island Sen. Jack Reed has failed again in his attempt to hold down college student loan rates.

The Senate has once again failed to pass Democrat  Reed’s legislation that would keep federal student college loans from doubling in interest. Reed’s bill failed on a procedural motion by a vote of 51 to 49. Sixty votes were needed to end the Republican filibuster.

On July 1, the interest rates on federally subsidized Stafford loans doubled from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. & million students nationally are affected by the interest are hike, including 47,000 in Rhode Island.

Reed criticized Republicans for failing to support his bill, which would have rolled back the interest rates for a year.

``Today's vote shows Republicans would rather maintain tax loopholes for millionaires than make college a little more affordable for working families,'' said Reed in a Statement.

Reed's bill was backed by the Democratic Senate leadership, but Democrats were not unanimous in support. For example, Joe Manchin III, D-West Virginia, and Angus King, a Maine independent who caucuses with Democrats, both opposed it.

The legislation was paid for by closing s loophole in federal tax law, said Reed, that allows some older, wealthy taxpayers who have reached 70 years and six months old to avoid taxes by giving portions of their IRAs to relatives.