From the AP story:
The 52-45 vote to begin debating the legislation fell eight votes short of the 60 needed to proceed and stalled work on an effort both parties expect will ultimately produce a compromise, probably soon. For now, each side is happy to use the stalemate to snipe at the other with campaign-ready talking points while they are gridlocked over how to cover the $6 billion cost.
Republicans indicated that they supported efforts to extend the current cap on loan interest rates but filibustered the bill because they oppose they way it is funded.
It’s time for Congress to find a solution that can win bipartisan support. Lawmakers need to come together to craft a fair and reasonable funding mechanism that keeps the current rate cap in place. Congress should invest in our future by extending the interest rate cap and help students afford the education they need to stay competitive in today’s tough economy.
Senate Democrats have proposed funding the extension of the current cap on interest rates by closing a tax loophole that would bring in more payroll taxes from high income workers in small professional firms. Last week, the House passed its own version of the legislation that pays for the rate cap extension by cutting funds from a public health fund that helps Americans get life-saving preventive health screenings and child immunizations. The House Republican’s bill was opposed by virtually all House Democrats.
At this point, it appears unlikely that either proposal would be able to win majority approval in both chambers of Congress. An estimated 7.5 million borrowers will face higher interest rates on new subsidized Stafford student loans beginning in July if Congress fails to come to an agreement on how to pay for the rate cap extension. If interest rates double to 6.8 percent, the average student will owe thousands more in student loan debt.