The Senate rejected both Democratic and Republican plans to avert a doubling of student loan interest rates which will come into effect on July 1, according to the Associated Press.
Voting mostly along party lines, senators voted 62-34 against the Republican proposal and 51-43 for the Democratic one, both falling short of the 60 votes needed for passage.
The interest rates on federal college loans would double for 7.4 million students, said the AP.
Politico noted that the conflict came from the partisan issue of how to pay for the $6 billion bill. Republicans favored diverting money from a prevention fund under the Obama administration's health care law, and Democrats wanted to eliminate a tax loophole for corporations.
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Before the vote, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said, "I hope a few reasonable Republicans will join Democrats in voting for a student loan bill that doesn't put Americans' health at risk," according to CNN.
Senate Republicans accused the Democrats of playing political games. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said, "This problem could have been solved weeks ago," but he continued "Democrats weren't interested. They wanted a scapegoat more than a solution," according to CNN.
If no measures are passed, on July 1, the 3.4 percent interest rate will double to 6.8 percent. Reuters said one option to extend the low rates would be to add the $6 billion price tag of the bill to the national debt, a move the conservatives would not favor.
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