House Approves Student Loan Bill, Defying Veto Threat In Senate
The measure passed 215-195, a move the AP said was mostly symbolic because it has no chance of surviving in Senate, and because it was a reminder of how Election Day is just over six months away.
According to 39online.com, the higher rate would cost a student with a maximum loan of $23,000 to pay $5,000 more in interest payments over 10 years, or about $41.67 a month.
Although both parties agree students' interest rates should not rise, they disagree on how to cover $5.8 billion: Republicans want spending cuts and to take funds from the nation's new healthcare law, while Democrats want higher revenues and demand a tax increase on higher-income households.
According to the Washington Post, House Speaker John A. Boehner made fiery appeals before the vote.
- “Give me a break,” roared House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, to rousing cheers from Republican lawmakers. “This is the latest plank in the so-called war on women, entirely created by my colleagues across the aisle for political gain.”
- Republicans said they were working methodically on the problem and accused Democrats of inventing a controversy to stir up their voters.
- “People want to politicize this because it is an election year. But my God, do we have to fight about everything?” said Boehner.
The AP said Democrats have been accusing Republicans of targeting women by advocating curbs on contraceptives and other policies.
- In its veto message, the White House argued that "women in particular" would be helped by the prevention fund and added, "This is a politically motivated proposal and not the serious response that the problem facing America's college students deserves."
The White House said in a statement Friday that Obama would veto the measure and that while he favors extending the current lower interest rates, he would seek a different way to pay the $5.8 billion cost.
ABC reports that on Wednesday, he told students at the University of Iowa: "If you do well, the economy does well. This is about the economy. What economy are they talking about? You are the economy."
Reach Executive Producer Rosa Trieu; follow her on Twitter.