Senate Fails To Lower Student Loan Rates

WASHINGTON, D.C. - An effort to restore lower interest rates on student loans has failed in the Senate.

As NewsChannel 7’s Sanika Dange first told you July 1 in her special report, the Cost of College, the interest rates on subsidized Stafford loans doubled because Congress was unable to send a bill to President Barack Obama for his signature.

The White House and most Senate Democrats favored restoring interest rates to 3.4 percent for another year. But lawmakers on Wednesday were unable to muster the necessary 60 votes to overcome a procedural hurdle.

That left interest rates at 6.8 percent -- a rate that leaders from both parties called unacceptable.

Few students so far have been affected because few sign their loans during the summer. But roughly a quarter of all federal lending is through the program and the new rates could affect millions of students.

NewsChannel 7 checked the roll call to see how Florida's senators voted. Democratic Senator Bill Nelson, who was one of 43 co-sponsors, voted for it. Republican Senator Marco Rubio voted against the bill.

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