Congress Could Combine Student Loan, Highway Funding Bills

By: Tuesday June 26, 2012 12:19 pm

There’s still been nary a peep from Congress on deals on the two major expiring measures that conclude at the end of the week, one on transportation funding and another on federal student loan interest rates. All we know is that Harry Reid has threatened to keep the Senate in session over the weekend to [...]

Possible Deal on Student Loan Interest Rates in the Senate

By: Monday June 25, 2012 6:15 am

Just to set up this week, we’re going to see verdicts in two major Supreme Court cases, on the health care individual mandate and the Arizona immigration law; a contempt vote in the House against Attorney General Eric Holder; and in Congress, we have deadlines on two important pieces of legislation, the transportation funding bill [...]

Decision Time Nears for Student Loan, Highway Bills

By: Friday June 22, 2012 9:35 am

I’ve been tracking the two deadlines for Congress coming up in just over a week. If no action is taken, new federal student loans will see an interest rate of 6.8%, double the current 3.4%. And there will be no surface transportation bill, meaning that highway projects with federal participation will grind to a halt [...]

Highway Bill Unlikely to Emerge from Conference Committee

By: Monday June 18, 2012 10:17 am

With two weeks until two key measures expire, Congress appears poised to do what it does best – absolutely nothing. At issue are the doubling of the student loan interest rate, and the surface transportation bill. Democrats and the White House seized on the student loan issue, getting Republicans to agree on the basic principle [...]

House GOP Offers Self-Serving Student Loan Interest Rate Counter-Proposal

By: Friday June 1, 2012 10:17 am

Perhaps sensitive about a looming doubling of student loan interest rates, and reports of their indifference to the plight, House Republicans sent a letter to the President with a new proposal for how to structure an extension of the existing rates. Everyone agrees – in public, at least – that interest rates on Stafford federal [...]

Congressional Gridlock Starting to Have Impact

By: Thursday May 31, 2012 9:40 am

I’ve spilled a lot of e-ink about the fiscal cliff, that looming set of expiring measures at the end of the year that will have a serious impact on fiscal policy, spending and taxes going forward. But there are quite a few policies that either expire or are urgently needed well before the end of [...]

Yesterday’s Congressional Embarrassments, Explained

By: Thursday May 17, 2012 7:13 am

Let’s recap one of the more pathetic days in a pathetic Congressional session. In the House, voting concluded on the GOP version of the Violence Against Women Act, a real marker into the rightward shift of that party. On previous occasions with GOP control of Congress, VAWA was reauthorized without incident. This time around, however, [...]

Our Unsustainable Higher Education System

By: Monday May 14, 2012 10:19 am

In my story on California’s budget woes, I mentioned a study showing that more qualified high school graduates are choosing not to attend college because they are priced out of the market for higher education. I should add that the ones who do choose to matriculate end up with a pile of debt after the [...]

Senate Republicans Block Student Loan Interest Rate Bill

By: Tuesday May 8, 2012 11:06 am

The Senate failed to advance a bill today that would have kept the interest rate on Stafford federal student loans from doubling to 6.8% by this June. Republicans and Democrats now profess to support averting the change, but they differ on how to pay for the extension. Republicans want to take the money from the [...]

Student Loan Fight Moves to Senate

By: Monday May 7, 2012 12:56 pm

While I was vacationing, a long-simmering deadline to avoid a doubling in federal student loan interest rates became a cause célébre among the Democrats and the White House. They actually got Republicans to flip on the issue; the House GOP budget called for allowing the doubling to occur, but suddenly, John Boehner unveiled a plan [...]

Mitt Romney Solves Student Loan Problem: Borrow from Your Rich Parents

By: Friday April 27, 2012 5:26 pm

I don’t know why I didn’t think of this solution before.  Why borrow from the federal government, and force everyone to support public education through subsidized loans, when you can just borrow the tuition, room and board money from mom and dad? From Think Progress [emphasis theirs], here’s what Mitt suggested today: This kind of [...]

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