Republicans attempt to divert healthcare fund into student loans

The Republican-led U.S. House of Representatives defied Obama lead Democrats to divert money from the health care sector to go towards low-interest rates for federal student loans.

On a mostly party-line vote of 215-195, the House sent the measure to the Senate where Obama’s Democrats are certain to reject it. Like Obama, they want to renew the low rate, but favor covering the one-year, $6 billion cost by ending a tax break for the rich.

As usual, the move has huge political connotations. Both parties are vying for votes from the youth community and hard working parents, who are trying to get their children through college.

Democrats and Republicans have until July 1 to find a widely anticipated compromise. That’s when the rate is set to double on Stafford loans to 6.8 percent for more than 7 million students. Thirty Republicans broke ranks and voted against the House bill after the Club for Growth, an influential conservative advocacy group, came out against it. Overall, 13 Democrats joined 202 Republicans in voting for the bill, while 165 Democrats and 30 Republicans and voted no. Obama cranked up pressure on Congress in recent weeks with visits to college campuses where he portrayed Republicans as unsympathetic to their plight.


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