On July 1, subsidized Stafford student loan rates will double, increasing from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. In other words, if Washington doesn't act, the government will be taking more money out of the pockets of college graduates -- many of whom are already struggling to make loan payments in a difficult economy.
Republicans in Congress know this isn't right or fair. They've done everything they can to keep rates from doubling on July 1. The Republican-controlled House of Representatives saw the problem coming and passed student loan relief last month. The relief package was largely based on an idea previously offered by President Obama. But once Republicans passed the bill, he was quick to play politics and denounce the plan.
Democrats control the Senate, of course, but that didn't stop Republican Senators from working to reach a solution. Senators Tom Coburn, Lamar Alexander and Richard Burr helped craft a bipartisan proposal that drew "from formulas for setting future interest rates that have been proposed by President Obama and House Republicans," as ABC News reported.
Surely such a bill will pass the Senate, right? No. Why? Because Democrat Majority Leader Harry Reid doesn't want it to pass. He's shot it down. He won't bring it up for a vote because he personally opposes it. Some of his liberal allies have actually tried to use immigration reform as an excuse to leave grads out to dry. But is the majority leader really incapable of doing two things at once? If so, maybe it's time for a new majority.
Congress will soon leave town for their July 4th recess. They'll be celebrating Independence Day, but the Democrats in Congress aren't leaving those with student loans much to celebrate. Thanks to their inaction and intransigence, loan rates will double in just a few days.
Republicans did everything they could to prevent this. Democrats in the House, Democrat leaders in the Senate, and the Democrat in the White House did nothing.