Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
September 1, 2015

Student Loan Deal Takes Shape, but Harkin Blamed for Delay

A bipartisan group of senators reached a tentative agreement to permanently fix federal student loan rates Wednesday evening, following a day of frustration from Republicans and moderate Democrats with what they viewed as liberal slow-walking of a potential deal.

Just a day after being urged by President Barack Obama at the White House to forge a compromise, Senators met twice in the Capitol on Wednesday to discuss legislation to fix student loan rates after Congress let a one-year extension of the subsidized Stafford loan rate expire and double on July 1.

The first meeting was Democrats-only in the afternoon with more than a half dozen senators attending, but it did not include Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Chairman Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, according to a source familiar with negotiations. A second, bipartisan meeting later in the evening in the leadership suite of Sen. Richard J. Durbin, D-Ill., ended with negotiators cautiously optimistic they could move forward on a plan, especially with what they believed was Obama’s blessing.

Of all the senators involved in talks on the issue, it has been Harkin who has been most reluctant to sign off on an agreement. As CQ Roll Call has previously reported, even though the White House has said it does not want to raise money from students to pay down the deficit, current law and the framework the administration put forward in its 2014 budget does just that.

Harkin, along with Massachusetts Democrat Elizabeth Warren, has been insistent that an agreement should not raise money off the backs of students. Warren has not been in the room for the recent bipartisan talks.

Frustration with Harkin ran so high Wednesday that GOP negotiators mulled not attending the bipartisan meeting in Durbin’s office.

On the way to a late afternoon vote, in a Capitol elevator, Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., urged his fellow GOP negotiators Richard M. Burr of North Carolina and Lamar Alexander of Tennessee to cancel the meeting. Just an hour and a half before it was set to be held, Coburn expressed frustration that the clear edict from the White House to just dispense with the issue was being ignored by Senate progressives who were not on board with the bipartisan push.

The meeting stayed on the schedule, but only Alexander attended for the Republican trio. Sens. Joe Manchin III, D-W.Va., and Angus King, I-Maine, who have been negotiating for weeks with the GOP, also were in attendance.

“We’ve had a good discussion with Sen. Harkin and Sen. Durbin and we’d like to be able to do this together,” Alexander said after the meeting. “We hope that we can, and we hope we can come to a decision right away because families need to make their plans. If we can decide what we’re doing and act on it in the next week or so, all the new loans would be retroactive to July 1 and it’s a very good plan.”

The plan being discussed currently is just the most recent iteration of a general framework that would use 10-year Treasury notes as a basis and then add a certain number of points depending on the type of loan. The plan as being negotiated now has the same formula for both subsidized and unsubsidized Stafford loans.

The formulas for interest rates, as announced are as follows: 10-year Treasury note plus 2.05 percent for both the subsidized and unsubsidized portions of the undergraduate loans, plus 3.6 percent for graduate loans and plus 4.6 percent for PLUS loans. Those rates would be capped at 8.5 percent, 9.5 percent and 10.5 percent, respectively. Though liberal Democrats had been demanding caps, they likely will be unhappy that the agreed to numbers are higher than the rates students would face if Congress did nothing at all. In better economic times, when Treasury rates increase, students’ rates could be greater than the 6.8 percent they would get now.

The Congressional Budget Office scored the proposal last week as providing a savings of $715 million over 10 years.

This post has been updated to reflect a deal being announced by sources close to the talks.

Comments (40)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

author email

  1. ebola131

    July 18, 2013
    10:37 a.m.

    Why is the Federal Government of the Republic involved with the student loan business?
    Where in the Constitution is that found?
    How did a few dozen people get the power to control a trillion dollar business?
    This must end.
    III

  2. SWohio

    Aug. 2, 2013
    8:16 p.m.

    Here in Ohio ads are being run on the radio about how to get a student loan ‘adjusted’ even if it is delinquent. Cut in half, I believe the ads say.

  3. Anonymous

    June 27, 2015
    6:06 a.m.

    Thanks so much for providing individuals with remarkably remarkable possiblity to read articles and blog posts from this website. It’s always very nice plus stuffed with fun for me and my office mates to visit your blog not less than thrice in a week to learn the latest stuff you have got. And definitely, I am just always impressed for the striking points served by you. Some 1 facts in this article are in reality the most impressive I’ve ever had.

    http://www.sdorttuiiplmnr.com/

  4. Anonymous

    July 2, 2015
    3:17 p.m.

    I like what you guys are up too. Such clever work and reporting! Keep up the excellent works guys I have incorporated you guys to my blogroll. I think it will improve the value of my site :)

    https://terbaik2u.wordpress.com/

  5. Anonymous

    July 4, 2015
    5:20 a.m.

    Very wonderful info can be found on weblog. “You don’t get harmony when everybody sings the same note.” by Doug Floyd.

    http://www.sdorttuiiplmnr.com/

  6. Anonymous

    July 4, 2015
    2:56 p.m.

    Very nice post. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and wished to say that I’ve really enjoyed browsing your weblog posts. After all I will be subscribing to your feed and I’m hoping you write again very soon!

    http://www.furtdsolinopv.com/

  7. Anonymous

    July 7, 2015
    9:12 a.m.

    Excellent website. Plenty of useful info here. I am sending it to a few pals ans also sharing in delicious. And of course, thank you to your sweat!

    http://www.sdorttuiiplmnr.com/

  8. Anonymous

    July 11, 2015
    9:56 a.m.

    Thank you for the sensible critique. Me & my neighbor were just preparing to do some research about this. We got a grab a book from our area library but I think I learned more clear from this post. I’m very glad to see such wonderful info being shared freely out there.

    http://marocmelody.freehostia.com/userinfo.php?uid=993929

  9. Anonymous

    July 13, 2015
    2:11 p.m.

    I like this site its a master peace ! Glad I noticed this on google .

    http://homeownersinsurancem.com/amica-car-and-home-insurance.html

  10. Anonymous

    July 13, 2015
    2:37 p.m.

    You actually make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something that I think I would never understand. It seems too complex and very broad for me. I am looking forward for your next post, I will try to get the hang of it!

    http://homeownersinsurancem.com/amica-car-and-home-insurance.html

  11. Anonymous

    July 13, 2015
    7:31 p.m.

    Some really fantastic info , Sword lily I noticed this. “Life is divided into the horrible and the miserable.” by Woody Allen.

    http://www.wat.tv/video/salon-massage-naturiste-massage-79q5z_79q5x_.html

  12. Anonymous

    July 14, 2015
    1:16 a.m.

    I have not checked in here for some time because I thought it was getting boring, but the last several posts are great quality so I guess I¦ll add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it my friend :)

    http://vimeo.com/126527913

  13. Anonymous

    July 17, 2015
    7:09 a.m.

    I love the efforts you have put in this, appreciate it for all the great content.

    http://www.chow.com/profile/1561675#

  14. Anonymous

    July 18, 2015
    3:28 a.m.

    I think this is among the most important information for me. And i am glad reading your article. But should remark on some general things, The site style is perfect, the articles is really nice : D. Good job, cheers

    http://nflfemale.com/members/tankerpolish5/activity/279429/

  15. Anonymous

    July 20, 2015
    4:03 p.m.

    Hello.This post was extremely remarkable, especially because I was looking for thoughts on this topic last couple of days.

    http://brookereviews.com/product/stdcheck-com-offers-10-off-affordable-std-testing/

  16. Anonymous

    July 20, 2015
    8:33 p.m.

    Someone essentially help to make seriously posts I would state. This is the first time I frequented your website page and thus far? I surprised with the research you made to make this particular publish amazing. Wonderful job!

    http://quotesautoinsurance.org/auto-insurance-quotes-without-personal-information.html

  17. Anonymous

    July 21, 2015
    1:44 a.m.

    It’s really a nice and helpful piece of information. I’m glad that you shared this useful info with us. Please keep us up to date like this. Thanks for sharing.

    http://lowcostautoquotes.com

  18. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    6:35 a.m.

    You are my intake, I own few web logs and occasionally run out from to brand.

    http://split.us

  19. Anonymous

    July 24, 2015
    6:18 p.m.

    It’s the best time to make a few plans for the long run and it is time to be happy. I’ve read this submit and if I may I want to recommend you few interesting issues or advice. Perhaps you can write subsequent articles referring to this article. I want to learn even more things approximately it!

    https://bestplumbers.com

  20. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    7:18 a.m.

    I believe this website holds some really good information for everyone :D. “Anybody who watches three games of football in a row should be declared brain dead.” by Erma Bombeck.

    http://bathmatehydromax-x30.weebly.com/blog/rahsia-menguatkan-zakar

  21. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    8:07 a.m.

    You could certainly see your skills within the paintings you write. The sector hopes for even more passionate writers such as you who aren’t afraid to say how they believe. All the time follow your heart. “The point of quotations is that one can use another’s words to be insulting.” by Amanda Cross.

    http://www.sdorttuiiplmnr.com/

  22. Anonymous

    July 25, 2015
    9:36 p.m.

    Hello.This article was really motivating, especially since I was browsing for thoughts on this issue last week.

    http://www.mainhardt.com.br/wiki/index.php?title=Insurance_On_Home_Loan_Calculator

  23. Anonymous

    July 28, 2015
    7:36 a.m.

    Admiring the dedication you put into your blog and detailed information you present. It’s nice to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same old rehashed material. Fantastic read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.

    http://www.sdorttuiiplmnr.com/

  24. Anonymous

    July 28, 2015
    2:46 p.m.

    I was curious if you ever thought of changing the structure of your site? Its very well written; I love what youve got to say. But maybe you could a little more in the way of content so people could connect with it better. Youve got an awful lot of text for only having 1 or two pictures. Maybe you could space it out better?

    http://www.warriorforum.com/showthread.php?t=1094532

  25. Anonymous

    July 30, 2015
    9:03 p.m.

    I have been exploring for a bit for any high quality articles or blog posts in this kind of area . Exploring in Yahoo I finally stumbled upon this web site. Reading this information So i am satisfied to exhibit that I have a very excellent uncanny feeling I discovered just what I needed. I so much surely will make certain to do not put out of your mind this site and provides it a glance on a constant basis.

    http://brookereviews.com/product/0-6-pack-abs-review-tyler-bramlett-and-dr-vegher-does-0-6-pack-abs-really-work-or-just-a-scam/

  26. Anonymous

    July 31, 2015
    10:05 a.m.

    A person essentially lend a hand to make significantly articles I’d state. This is the first time I frequented your web page and to this point? I surprised with the analysis you made to make this particular put up amazing. Wonderful task!

    http://wesele-w-palacu.waw.pl

  27. Anonymous

    Aug. 3, 2015
    10 a.m.

    I like this website very much so much fantastic info .

    http://home-business-industry.com

  28. Anonymous

    Aug. 4, 2015
    6:48 p.m.

    It?¦s actually a nice and useful piece of information. I?¦m happy that you simply shared this useful info with us. Please stay us up to date like this. Thank you for sharing.

    http://www.teenchoiceawards2015live.com/

  29. Anonymous

    Aug. 6, 2015
    5:57 a.m.

    I haven’t checked in here for some time since I thought it was getting boring, but the last few posts are great quality so I guess I’ll add you back to my daily bloglist. You deserve it my friend :)

    http://quotesautoinsurance.org

  30. Anonymous

    Aug. 6, 2015
    6:38 p.m.

    Thank you for sharing your info. I truly appreciate your efforts and I am waiting for your next post thanks once again. Have a good day !

    http://www.tutti.fr

  31. Anonymous

    Aug. 7, 2015
    6:10 a.m.

    Hi there, I found your blog via Google while searching for a related topic, your web site came up, it looks good. I’ve bookmarked it in my google bookmarks.

    http://quotesautoinsurance.org/compare-auto-insurance-rates-by-zip-code.html

  32. Anonymous

    Aug. 7, 2015
    1:40 p.m.

    Glad to be one of the visitors on this awesome website : D.

    http://curiousamerica.com/online-auto-insurance-quotes

  33. Anonymous

    Aug. 10, 2015
    4:09 a.m.

    I’m not sure where you are getting your info, but great topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more. Thanks for magnificent info I was looking for this info for my mission.

    http://dnvappliance.com/refrigerator-repair-orange-county

  34. Anonymous

    Aug. 10, 2015
    2:02 p.m.

    I cling on to listening to the news bulletin lecture about receiving boundless online grant applications so I have been looking around for the finest site to get one. Could you tell me please, where could i get some?

    http://www.thewalkingdeadseason6live.com/

  35. Anonymous

    Aug. 11, 2015
    2:02 p.m.

    It’s a pity you don’t have a donate button! I’d certainly donate to this excellent blog! I guess for now i’ll settle for book-marking and adding your RSS feed to my Google account. I look forward to fresh updates and will share this blog with my Facebook group. Chat soon!

    http://refrigerator-repair-oc.com/ge-monogram-refrigerator-repair/

  36. Anonymous

    Aug. 23, 2015
    7:26 p.m.

    Most of what you claim happens to be supprisingly precise and it makes me wonder the reason why I had not looked at this with this light before. This particular article truly did turn the light on for me as far as this specific subject matter goes. Nonetheless there is actually one point I am not too comfy with and whilst I try to reconcile that with the core idea of your point, allow me observe just what all the rest of your readers have to point out.Nicely done.

    http://www.superbowl.com.tw

  37. Anonymous

    Aug. 24, 2015
    12:46 a.m.

    An fascinating dialogue is price comment. I feel that it is best to write extra on this subject, it may not be a taboo topic but usually individuals are not sufficient to talk on such topics. To the next. Cheers

    http://homeownersinsurancem.com/geico-insurance-quotes.html

  38. Anonymous

    Aug. 26, 2015
    8:52 a.m.

    I have been absent for some time, but now I remember why I used to love this web site. Thanks, I will try and check back more often. How frequently you update your website?

    http://quotesautoinsurance.org/pemco-insurance.html

  39. Anonymous

    Aug. 29, 2015
    6:43 p.m.

    Great write-up, I¦m normal visitor of one¦s site, maintain up the excellent operate, and It is going to be a regular visitor for a long time.

    https://www.flickr.com/photos/129374638@N03/20717027042/

  40. Anonymous

    today
    1:57 p.m.

    I have been examinating out many of your posts and i can claim clever stuff. I will make sure to bookmark your site.

    http://instagramtakipcihileleri.com/

Sign In

Forgot password?

Or

Subscribe

Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...