Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Senate Student Loan Bill Fails Due to 60 Vote Margin Required

How many students with new Stafford Loans with double the interest are going to vote for Republicans in 2014 after they voted not to end closture which means the bill was not passed?

The Senate did their usual requiring 60 votes to pass a bill that should be a simple majority.  What I think of Sen Reid (D-NV) and his agreement with Sen McConnell (R-KY) on filibuster is not much.  In fact, he should have known better then trust the snake McConnell who has had trouble with the truth for years.  Might as well make a deal with the devil than Republicans today whose word means nothing until they check with their big donors and bankers.  

The Senate voted on a bill to keep interest rates on student loans low today which failed with Reid voting "NO" in order to be able to bring this bill back up according to rules.  Filibuster rules Reid agreed to in January struck again with legislation:

Grouped By Vote Position
YEAs ---51
Baldwin (D-WI)
Baucus (D-MT)
Begich (D-AK)
Bennet (D-CO)
Blumenthal (D-CT)
Boxer (D-CA)
Brown (D-OH)
Cantwell (D-WA)
Cardin (D-MD)
Carper (D-DE)
Casey (D-PA)
Coons (D-DE)
Cowan (D-MA)
Donnelly (D-IN)
Durbin (D-IL)
Feinstein (D-CA)
Franken (D-MN)
Gillibrand (D-NY)
Hagan (D-NC)
Harkin (D-IA)
Heinrich (D-NM)
Heitkamp (D-ND)
Hirono (D-HI)
Johnson (D-SD)
Kaine (D-VA)
Klobuchar (D-MN)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Leahy (D-VT)
Levin (D-MI)
McCaskill (D-MO)
Menendez (D-NJ)
Merkley (D-OR)
Mikulski (D-MD)
Murphy (D-CT)
Murray (D-WA)
Nelson (D-FL)
Pryor (D-AR)
Reed (D-RI)
Rockefeller (D-WV)
Sanders (I-VT)
Schatz (D-HI)
Schumer (D-NY)
Shaheen (D-NH)
Stabenow (D-MI)
Tester (D-MT)
Udall (D-CO)
Udall (D-NM)
Warner (D-VA)
Warren (D-MA)
Whitehouse (D-RI)
Wyden (D-OR)

NAYs ---49
Alexander (R-TN)
Ayotte (R-NH)
Barrasso (R-WY)
Blunt (R-MO)
Boozman (R-AR)
Burr (R-NC)
Chambliss (R-GA)
Chiesa (R-NJ)
Coats (R-IN)
Coburn (R-OK)
Cochran (R-MS)
Collins (R-ME)
Corker (R-TN)
Cornyn (R-TX)
Crapo (R-ID)
Cruz (R-TX)
Enzi (R-WY)
Fischer (R-NE)
Flake (R-AZ)
Graham (R-SC)
Grassley (R-IA)
Hatch (R-UT)
Heller (R-NV)
Hoeven (R-ND)
Inhofe (R-OK)
Isakson (R-GA)
Johanns (R-NE)
Johnson (R-WI)
King (I-ME)
Kirk (R-IL)
Lee (R-UT)
Manchin (D-WV)
McCain (R-AZ)
McConnell (R-KY)
Moran (R-KS)
Murkowski (R-AK)
Paul (R-KY)
Portman (R-OH)
Reid (D-NV)
Risch (R-ID)
Roberts (R-KS)
Rubio (R-FL)
Scott (R-SC)
Sessions (R-AL)
Shelby (R-AL)
Thune (R-SD)
Toomey (R-PA)
Vitter (R-LA)
Wicker (R-MS)

As usual the Republican Senators all voted NO which puts them on the side of the businesses wanting interest rates to rise and against students.  Imagine that!  Looks like Students are the next group to be in the target war zone of Republicans along with Women, Minorities, Voting Rights, Gay Marriage for starters.  This rebranding of the GOP is not working out very well.  In fact it is not working at all as the mostly white male GOP is against most things the vast amount of Americans support.  Makes no sense to continually vote against the American people unless they are bought and paid for by their wealthy donors.  They have turned their backs on the American people to pander to the top 2%.  Thought it was just Romney but looks like it is the whole Republican Party.  Yet they wonder why long time Republicans are fed up and want nothing to do with today's Republican Party?  Maybe they should look in the mirror.

These new interest rates are for new borrowers but still it is going to add up fast if your Stafford Loans are unsubsidized.  If they are subsidized the federal government is going to be taking the hit with higher interest rates paid until the student takes over paying them back.  Don't understand why Republicans are allowing interest rates to double unless it is to pay off their big donors in the banking industry who finance these loans.  Are they trying to make it more expensive to get an education so only the wealthy can afford to send their kids to school?  At the same time states are cutting back on funding for higher education which has raised tuition across the Country.

Donate to the University of Oklahoma Foundation each year as my way of giving back for the help my two children got from OU as in-state students with the Sooner Heritage Scholarships.  We didn't qualify for subsidized loans so if this was happening when my two were in college, the amount of payback would be much higher.  OU does everything they can to make college affordable with the various scholarships available.  

From ABC are the basics on those pesky Stafford loan interest rates that are set to spike at the beginning of July in easy-to-read bullet points:
What: Only interest rates on subsidized Stafford Loans will be impacted by the July change. Subsidized Stafford Loans are need-based loans for undergraduate students only. The loans don't accumulate interest while students are in college. Need is determined by the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) form, which applicants can fill out at no cost. You can find more information about the application and deadlines (they vary by state and college) here
When: Interest rates on subsidized Stafford Loans issued after July 1, 2013 are set to double to 6.8 percent. Loans issued before this date will come with 3.4 percent interest, which is locked in for the life of the loan. That means that where a student with a $10,000 subsidized Stafford loan would accrue about $.93 in interest each day at the current rate, that will jump to $1.86 in interest each day when the higher rate takes effect. 
Why: The 6.8 percent rate is actually the old interest rate for these loans. Congress passed a law back in 2007 that gradually lowered interest rates to 3.4 percent over five years, but allowed the rate to rise back to 6.8 percent in 2012. Everyone - President Obama, Republicans, Democrats - wanted to avoid that rebound, but couldn't agree on how to do it. So they passed a stopgap measure that extended the 3.4 percet interest rate for a year. But that year is almost up and we're at a familiar situation: everyone wants to prevent interest rates from rising uniformly to 6.8 percent, but they can't agree on how to get there.
Who: A bunch of political players have proposed possible solutions. Here are a few of the main ones. 
- President Obama: Obama wants student loan interest rates to vary from year to year depending on market conditions. Interest rates for subsidized loans would be tied to the yield on 10-year Treasury bonds (plus .93 percentage points). Basically that means interest rates could initially be even lower than 3.4 percent, but they could rise much higher in coming years. The good part, though, is that while rates would vary by year, they'd be locked in over the life of every loan. 
- Democrats: Some Democrats want to extend the current 3.4 percent interest rate for a year or two to give Congress a chance to reform the law that deals with federal student loans. That law is set to expire at the end of this year. But that plan doesn't appeal to all Democrats. Senator Elizabeth Warren recently proposed that interest rates match the rate the Federal Reserve charges banks: .75 percent. 
- Republicans: Some Republicans have also called for varying interest rates based on the market. House Republicans recently passed such a bill. Like Obama's plan, the interest rates on Stafford loans would be tied to the yield on 10-year Treasury bonds (plus 2.5 percentage points). Unlike Obama's plan, the Republican plan would not offer better rates for subsidized loans than unsubsidized loans. Also unlike the president's proposal, the rate would not be locked in over the life of the loan. It would vary, although it could be fixed after graduation. The Republican plan does cap how high interest rates could go, however, to 8.5 percent for Stafford loans. Senate Republicans have called for a plan that would also vary with the market, but lock in rates over the life of each loan. Like Obama's plan, Senate Republicans also don't offer a cap on rates. 
ABC is 100% correct about FAFSA and how the loans are much better and people easier to deal with.  Have a Parent Plus Loan through FAFSA backed by the Government which has been extremely easy to deal with versus a private lender of my son's who has been nothing but a royal pain in the neck.
We can't say for sure what will happen. But it's still worth filling out the FAFSA form if you haven't already, and looking into your loan options. Regardless of what happens to interest rates, federal subsidized loans typically have much lower rates and far more flexibility in terms of forgiveness and consolidation than loans from private companies.
After dealing with FAFSA loan applications for years, it is well worth it to have them on file even if you don't use the money.  It is not cheap to go to college even with low interest rates.

Shame on Republicans for allowing the interest rates to double for student loans.  Would say to write your Senator but writing Republicans to complain is such a waste today as they could care less about what their constituents are saying.  Received one of the most condescending replies ever in answer to my complaint to Inhofe.   These Republicans are some of the biggest jerks I have ever seen in politics and have seen plenty over the years.  GOP elected officials have taken it to a new low level of contempt for their constituents as they consider themselves experts on everything.  We are there to listen to them as they know best for us which is Bravo Sierra.  Not rich?  GOP doesn't have any use for your suggestions or comments.

Time to send GOP to the Unemployment Line in November 2014 and let them see how the other 98% live.

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