Republicans block vote on Senate student-loan interest bill

Republicans led by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell held the line against an effort by the Democrats to extend the current interest rates on student loans at the expense of tax benefits enjoyed by certain small businesses.

The Senate failed to reach the 60 votes needed to shutdown the Republican filibuster with a 52-45 party-line vote. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., voted against the measure, so he could bring it up for a vote again.

Democrats did as McConnell predicted going into the vote and used it as an opportunity to present Republicans as being cold and heartless. Unless Congress passes an extension by June 31, interest rates on certain federally guaranteed student loans will increase from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on July 1.

“In doing so, the GOP has once again turned its back on more than 7 million students who would pay an average of $1,000 in additional costs over the life of their loan if Congress fails to prevent this rate hike,” DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz said in a statement. “The clock is ticking, and the time for political games is over.”

A study by former Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin found that the average student loan would experience an average of a $7 per month increase  in what they pay on their loans — hardly a crippling hardship.

McConnell accused the Democrats of playing election year politics during the Senate debate in an effort to get disillusioned college students who voted for President Obama in 2008 to show up at the polls for Democrats in November.

His words echo comments from a  May 7 Politico editorial where he wrote, “But in the short-term, Republicans are ready to offer temporary relief — just as we did for millions of working Americans earlier this year through an extension of the payroll tax holiday .

“Fearful that young people might start to realize the reason they need relief right now is because of the Obama economy, Democrats have turned the college loan issue into yet another fake election-year fight. The goal is to distract young people from the fact that they’re suffering disproportionately under this president’s policies.”

Send tips to John Rossomando  at jrossomando@redalertpolitics.com.

Comments

Polititainment

Celebs gin up youth votes for midterms
THE HILL – With young voters more apathetic about voting and government than ever, several organizations are trying to woo the “selfie generation” to the polls this fall. “About half of those who vote in presidential elections do not vote in midterms,” explained Andy Bernstein, executive director of HeadCount, a non-partisan organization that partners with musicians […]
Maher to Cheney: light yourself on fire

As Hunter S. Thompson despised Richard Nixon with every drug-influenced fiber of his being, so Bill Maher carries on the torch for media provocateurs.

Colbert announces plan to defeat ISIS
President Barack Obama might not have a strategy for defeating ISIS in Syria, but never fear,  comedian Stephen Colbert has him covered. Colbert announced a unique plan Thursday night that involves raising Ronald Reagan from the grave, a captive radio audience and Monty Python-esque horse sound effects. “Remember in 1938 the radio broadcast of ‘War […]
Brand: ISIS better than conservatives
Actor Russell Brand took to Youtube Wednesday to compare terrorist group ISIS to conservatives, eventually coming to the conclusion that conservatives in power were worse than ISIS. Brand was recording yet another video aimed at attacking Fox News when he made the statements about ISIS. He was responding to Fox host Greg Gutfeld’s comments about Brand’s […]
Biden congratulates 'Veep' on Emmy win
From one Vice President to another… Vice President Joe Biden took to Twitter Tuesday to congratulate actress Julia Louis-Dreyfus on her Emmy win. Louis-Dreyfus snagged her third consecutive Outstanding Actress in a Comedy series win Monday for her portrayal of a fictional vice president on HBO’s “Veep.” Last year, the VP picked up the phone […]

White House

Obama: The world seems really messy because of ‘social media’

President Barack Obama, speaking at yet another fundraiser with a script that's been recycled more than a Hollywood romantic comedy, had an unlikely culprit for the world's problems.

White House scrambles to control the fallout from Obama’s ‘We don’t have a strategy yet’ comment
It’s hard to imagine that there was any other reaction than full panic from White House staffers after President Obama uttered a fateful gaffe Thursday afternoon, “We don’t have a strategy yet.” The line quickly exploded on Twitter and on television — though not quite as much as the president’s tan suit — as it […]
GOP: ‘He’s not a king’
THE HILL – Whether lamenting the so-called vacationer-in-chief’s swing of a golf club or criticizing his handling of the healthcare rollout, Republicans are getting in the habit of comparing President Obama to a monarch. “It’s one thing after another. You know he says he has no choice but to act. He says he has a pen […]
Obama’s Democratic fundraising just might ruin Labor Day weekend for the rest of us

Barely having returned from a 15-day vacation on Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, Obama will spend is Labor Day weekend traveling to support his Democratic friends. The problem is, this means that Americans planning to take seaplanes to East Hampton, Montauk, Martha's Vineyard or Nantucket won't be able to travel themselves.

White House flirt Joe Biden turns on the charm for 108-year-old veteran Lucy Coffey

Joe Biden continues to brand himself the White House flirt. In a recently released video of Biden's July 25 meeting with Lucy Coffee, the vice president kisses the 108-year-old war veteran on the cheek and hand and tells her, "I'm the guy that loves you."

Congress

Cruz highlights issues for 2014, 2016 elections
Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) elicited huge cheers from the audience at the Americans For Prosperity’s “Defending the American Dream Summit” Saturday when he vowed Republicans would take back control of the U.S. Senate and “retire” Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. “I’m convinced we’re going to win in 2014 and 2016 is going to be even better,” […]
IRS says Lerner's Blackberry 'destroyed'

A senior IRS lawyer has said in a sworn declaration that Lois Lerner's BlackBerry was intentionally destroyed after Congress had begun to investigate her involvement in IRS targeting of conservative groups.

Youth impact reason enough to pass jobs bills
The U.S. House Committee on Ways and Means is in the midst of releasing 40 reasons over the course of 40 days that the Senate should take up the 40 jobs bills the House has already passed. While most of their reasons have focused on general unemployment and economic growth statistics, they turned their attention […]
UNEARTHED: Archival footage of Harry Reid smiling

From appearances, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid derives little pleasure from his job, perhaps a deputy to the paragon of joylessness. But Red Alert Politics has dug into the archives to demonstrate that it wasn't always like this.

Rubio: Obama action would kill immigration reform
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is urging President Barack Obama to forego taking executive action on immigration, warning that would kill any chance for comprehensive immigration reform. “If indeed you move forward on such a decision, I believe it will close the door to any chance of making progress on immigration reform for the foreseeable future,” […]