BREAKING: Senate Nearing Bipartisan Stafford Deal [VIDEO]
Congress is nearing a deal to keep the interest rates on Stafford student loans from doubling later this week, according to Senate aides from both parties.
Numerous news outlets reported over the weekend that Congressional negotiations on the issue are nearing a compromise. Leaders of both parties have previously said they’ll work to keep the rates from doubling to 6.8 percent on July 1, but they have quarreled over how to pay for the move.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) told Politico he thinks “we’ve very close to an agreement,” adding the final deal “will be a compromise on both sides.”
For months, groups like Campus Progress, the United States Student Association, and Young Invincibles have pressured Congress to act before the July 1 deadline. Earlier this month, hundreds of young people flocked to Capitol Hill for Student Debt Day, meeting with Senators and their staff and asking them to keep the rate steady.
And President Obama has given the issue much attention, even traveling to a handful of universities earlier this year to raise awareness of the impending increase.
Last week, Obama invited 150 students and young Americans to the White House, where he spoke about the urgency of the issue.
“We've been stuck watching Congress play chicken with another deadline,” Obama said during the event. “This should be a no-brainer, this should not be difficult. It should’ve gotten done weeks ago.”
President Obama also took up the issue in his weekly video address to the nation:
Allowing the interest rate to double would impact 7.4 million students. On average, it would cost borrowers an extra $1,000 over the life of their loans.
Congress needs to act this week to prevent the increase. Continue to follow Campus Progress for more updates on the issue.
Brian Stewart is the Communications Director at Generation Progress. You can follow him on Twitter @brianstewart.