Senate Gives Students a Break on Loans

Senate Gives Students a Break on Loans

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Better late than never on student loans. The Senate approved a measure Wednesday evening that ties interest rates on federally subsidized student loans to 10-year Treasury notes  moving Congress closer to resetting the rates that doubled to 6.8 percent on July 1. 

Under the bill, the interest rates would be 2.05 percent plus the Treasury yield. Rates would be fixed and capped at 8.25 percent for undergraduates and 9.5 percent for graduates. For loans taken out after July 1 of this year, rates would be 3.9 percent for undergraduates, 5.4 percent for graduate students.

The vote, 81-18, splintered the Democratic majority. Seventeen Democrats voted against the measure—saying that the previous rate of 3.4 percent had helped to shield lower- and middle-income students from potential swings in the market. The House is expected to take up the measure next week.   -  Read more at The New York Times

OBAMA HEADS TO JACKSONVILLE FOR THIRD ECON SPEECH The president follows his two economic speeches in the Midwest Wednesday, with a stop in Jacksonville, FL for a third set of remarks that will largely focus on infrastructure.  According to The Hill, the White House chose the Florida city because it has two major infrastructure projects — a container terminal and a rail yard.  -  Read more at The Hill

OBAMACARE IS REALLY, REALLY COUNTING ON YOUNG PEOPLE   Open secret that bears repeating: the success of Obamacare depends largely on whether young, healthy people decide to buy insurance. So The Wall Street Journal’s Christopher Weaver and Louise Radofsky went to hipster central in Portland to see how many uninsured Gen Yers have the income to spare.

“Interviews here with more than two dozen single workers of modest income between 24 and 31 years old suggest that insurance plans will be a hard sell. Subsidies for 26-year-old workers range from $118 a month for someone earning under $16,000 to less than $1 a month for one earning $26,500, according to an analysis of insurance data.”

Gabe Meiffren, a food cart cook, said that the $116 monthly cost for him would mean fewer concerts and whiskey sours. "I'm healthy, so it's not in the budget," he said. -  Read more at The Wall Street Journal


LAWMAKERS ARE STILL IN POST-ELECTION DEBT   There are at least 180 members of Congress—91 Republicans, 88 Democrats and one Independent-- that still have campaign debt, a new Center for Responsive Politics analysis shows. In the House, 158 lawmakers had campaign debt, compared to 22 in the Senate. The campaign committee for Sen. Maria Cantwell (D-WA) tops the list with $2.2 million on a personal loan. See the full list here

Brianna Ehley is the former Washington Correspondent for The Fiscal Times. She is currently a reporter on Politico's health care team in Washington, D.C.