The Politics of the Stafford Loan
Alex Veeneman, Huff Post – When President Obama appeared on Jimmy Fallon’s late night program back in April before an audience at the University of North Carolina’s flagship campus in Chapel Hill, a key political issue for a demographic historically known to be reluctant to vote had been unfolding. The interest rates of federal subsidized Stafford loans were to go up from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on July 1. There was a consensus that the rates should stay at 3.4 percent, and that it was a common agreement that it could be done.
However, what quickly developed from the view of a possible bipartisan solution was a clash between party priority, as campaign cycles heated up as the five month window to Election Day opened. On May 31, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio), House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Virginia), Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Kentucky) and Senate Minority Whip Jon Kyl (R-Arizona) sent a letter to President Obama with two proposals to extend the rate. However, the letter noted, a rate freeze would come with a cost.