House advances student loan fix

Republicans move forward with plan that could mean higher rates later


WASHINGTON  — A House committee has approved a bill to link interest rates on college loans to financial markets.

The Education and the Workforce Committee today sent the bill to the full House for consideration. Democrats stood unified against the measure.

Without congressional action, interest rates for new subsidized Stafford student loans would double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on July 1. Democrats’ attempt to hold them there failed on a party-line vote.

Under the GOP proposal, students would have their interest rates linked to 10-year Treasury notes. The Congressional Research Service predicts that means higher rates but the Republican chairman of the education committee, Rep. John Kline, says no one really knows what interest rates will be.