House Republican leadership tried to drive a wedge between Democrats on the issue of student loans Monday, criticizing “internal bickering” in the Senate for allowing rates to rise.
“The Democrat Senate has known for many months that on July 1, many student loans would double. They’ve been more involved in internal bickering, rather than addressing the issue,” Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers said.
Earlier, the House passed a bill that would peg student loans to the interest rate of a 10-year Treasury note.
A bipartisan proposal in the Senate would have done the same, but would have also locked in a certain rate for the duration of the loan, as the White House has said it prefers.
But this approach did not garner the support of Democratic leadership in the Senate, meaning that the Senate has yet to pass a bill to address rising of student loan interest rates.
On July 1, the rate for new subsidized Stafford student loans rose from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent.
Standing before a group of young students on the House steps, Speaker John Boehner said that Democrats in the Senate had “let these students down.”
“When you have a bipartisan group in the Senate, that has a solution that’s not far off from our solution, and yet is shot down by [Majority Leader Harry Reid], you have to wonder if they’re looking for a solution,” Boehner said. “The House has done its job. The fact is that it’s students that are going to pay the price when they see the interest rates on their loans doubling.”