The bill will retroactively lower interests rates as of July 1, counteracting the earlier doubling of student loan interest rates . As of now, the undergraduate Stafford rate will be 3.86 percent, while the graduate Stafford rate will be 5.41 percent. PLUS loans, which go to parents and graduate students, will be 6.41 percent for the 2013-2014 school year. The legislation will also tie interest rates to market rates and the 10-year Treasury note and cap the interest rates at 8.25 percent for undergraduate loans, 9.5 percent for graduate loans, and 10.5 percent for PLUS loans. These caps are all higher than the current rates.
Although proponents of the bill claim it is a long term solution, opponents have criticized it for likely shouldering future students with higher rates. Senator Elizabeth Warren, one of the 16 Democratic Senators who voted against the bill, says that the bill "asks tomorrow's students to pay more in order to finance lower rates today." She proposed an amendment with Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) to cap interest rates at current rates, but the amendment failed. Another amendment proposed by Senator Bernard Sanders (I-VT) to extend the new rates for two years also failed.
Media Resources: Sources: USA Today 7/24/13; Politico 7/24/13; Washington Post 7/24/13; Time 7/1/13; Bloomberg 7/24/13
8/3/2015 The Senate is Voting on Planned Parenthood Funding Today - A Senate bill to defund Planned Parenthood is expected to come to a vote today.
Sponsored by Republican Senator Joni Ernst (IA), Senate Bill 1881 would prohibit all Federal funding of Planned Parenthood or "any of its affiliates, subsidiaries, successors, or clinics." The Senate will need 60 votes to advance the bill, which is being proposed following the release of highly edited video footage by anti-abortion group the Center for Medical Progress (CMP).
The CMP's misleading videos claim that Planned Parenthood sells fetal tissue. . . .