Marie C Fields /

July 12, 2013, New York Times


After federal loan rates doubled on July 1 to a rate of 6.8 percent, a few key members of Congress have been scrambling to come up with an alternative that would be acceptable not only to members of both political parties, but to the millions of Americans who rely on Stafford loans annually. On Wednesday, a Senate bill to reinstate a 3.4 percent loan rate ended with a Republican-led filibuster, and on Thursday, the New York Times reported that a “tentative agreement was close to collapsing” because of a new estimate that the proposal would cost the U.S. Treasury $22 billion over 10 years.