Senate Republicans gave a thumbs down to a Democratic plan that would have frozen interest rates for 7.4 million students taking out new federally subsidized Stafford loans.
The vote was 52-45. Sixty votes were needed to avoid a certain Republican filibuster and to move the bill toward debate.
From the Republican perspective, it wasn't the idea of keeping the rate at 3.4 percent rather than letting it double starting in July. The impasse was over how to fund the one-year rate freeze, which would cost the government $6 billion, according to the Congressional Budget Office.
Democrats keep getting dinged by media fact checkers for attacking Republicans for allegedly wanting to strip money from preventive health programs to pay for to keep the interest rates on some student loans from doubling this summer.
But that hasn't stopped progressives from continuing to make the claim. The latest comes in a new full-page MoveOn.org ad in Politico. The ad reads in part:
It's a gray April evening, and two men have driven from Easton, Pa., to Manhattan. The men are administrators at Lafayette College. They're wearing solid black suits with Lafayette pins on their lapels.
They're here to see 12 students — high school seniors who have been admitted to Lafayette and are trying to decide where to go to college.
The men have come to make the students "feel that Lafayette is in their future and make them think that they'll ruin their lives if they go elsewhere," says Greg MacDonald, Lafayette's dean of admissions.
In a little more than 10 years, the total amount of student loan debt in this country has doubled to more than $1 trillion. In the not too-distant-future, student loan debt will eclipse the amount of money Americans owe on their cars and credit cards.