In “Democrats Duel on Student Loans,” Roll Call tells the story of “dueling Democratic media stakeouts” yesterday – “just a few feet apart” from one another. The scene “was indicative of the split between Democrats,” with Senate leaders pushing for little more than another short-term political fix.
And in “Democrat on Democrat,” The Hill says the “dispute over student loan rates escalated divisions within the party.” They quote one Senate Democrat calling the Obama administration’s bipartisan plan for a market-based student loan rate “a nonstarter.”
The people hurt most in all of this are students, sidelined in a fight between Democrats more interested in politics and what the Washington Post calls a “pathetic non-solution.”
The bill the Senate will vote on today is a “dead-end policy” that continues “to fix rates based on politics and guarantee[s] more distraction in a year’s time,” says the Post. Basing rates “on Congress’s whim” has been “a potent political tool for years,” but is “not the best way to promote college affordability.”
In fact, the Wall Street Journal says current policies are a “disaster,” with “rising costs, taxpayer losses and overstrapped borrowers.” Today’s Senate bill simply ensures that “policy continues unchanged.”
Putting off a real solution for another year, and going through the same arguments again and again, only benefits Democratic politicians. The Smarter Solutions for Students Act – part of the GOP jobs plan – benefits students and families with more certainty, and makes paying for college easier and fairer.
It isn’t every day that President Obama and House Republicans agree on a policy solution. That’s why it’s sad to see Senate Democrats fighting with eachother and rejecting a bipartisan student loan plan -- and even sadder to see the president let them get away with it.
UPDATE @ 12:57 PM:After Senate Dems failed again to approve legislation addressing student loan rates, Speaker Boehner said, "It’s long past time for President Obama to lead, address the divisions within his own party, and bring everyone together to enact a permanent solution for students and their families."