The Corner

Obama to Sign Student-Loan Bill

President Obama will sign Congress’s compromise bill that will reduce federal student-loan interest rates tomorrow, White House press secretary Jay Carney said Thursday.

In an announcement prior to the daily press briefing, Carney said the bill will “save millions of students an average of $1,500 on loans they take out this year.”

The bill, sponsored by Republican representative John Kline (Minn.), is designed to establish lower interest rates for new student loans. Rates for federally subsidized Stafford loans doubled on July 1 from 3.4 percent, a temporary reduced rate, to 6.8 percent. 

The bill will peg the rate for federal loans issued in a given year to the yield on the ten-year Treasury note that year, adding 2.05 percentage points for undergraduate loans and more for graduate-school loans. Under the new system, newly issued undergraduate loans this year will have an annual interest rate of 3.86 percent. In addition, the now-variable interest rates are capped at 8.25 percent for undergraduates, 9.5 percent for graduate students, and 10.5 percent for parents. 

Obama had previously threatened to veto the bill because it originally allowed rates on issued loans to vary with Treasury rates over time (which the final bill does not do) and would “not guarantee low rates” for current students. The administration charged that the bill “would impose the largest interest rate increases on low- and middle-income students and families who struggle most to afford a college education.” Republicans had seized on his opposition and the Democratic Senate’s intransigence on the bill, criticizing them for allowing rates to rise and refusing to pass the Republican proposal to fix the situation.

However, the bill passed both chambers of Congress easily, blitzing through the House for a second time in late July by a 392–31 vote a week after passing the Senate 81–18.

Most Popular

Law & the Courts

Obstruction Confusions

In his Lawfare critique of one of my several columns about the purported obstruction case against President Trump, Gabriel Schoenfeld loses me — as I suspect he will lose others — when he says of himself, “I do not think I am Trump-deranged.” Gabe graciously expresses fondness for me, and the feeling is ... Read More
Politics & Policy

Students’ Anti-Gun Views

Are children innocents or are they leaders? Are teenagers fully autonomous decision-makers, or are they lumps of mental clay, still being molded by unfolding brain development? The Left seems to have a particularly hard time deciding these days. Take, for example, the high-school students from Parkland, ... Read More
PC Culture

Kill Chic

We live in a society in which gratuitous violence is the trademark of video games, movies, and popular music. Kill this, shoot that in repugnant detail becomes a race to the visual and spoken bottom. We have gone from Sam Peckinpah’s realistic portrayal of violent death to a gory ritual of metal ripping ... Read More

Romney Is a Misfit for America

Mitt’s back. The former governor of Massachusetts and occasional native son of Michigan has a new persona: Mr. Utah. He’s going to bring Utah conservatism to the whole Republican party and to the country at large. Wholesome, efficient, industrious, faithful. “Utah has a lot to teach the politicians in ... Read More
Law & the Courts

What the Second Amendment Means Today

The horrifying school massacre in Parkland, Fla., has prompted another national debate about guns. Unfortunately, it seems that these conversations are never terribly constructive — they are too often dominated by screeching extremists on both sides of the aisle and armchair pundits who offer sweeping opinions ... Read More

Fire the FBI Chief

American government is supposed to look and sound like George Washington. What it actually looks and sounds like is Henry Hill from Goodfellas: bad suit, hand out, intoning the eternal mantra: “F*** you, pay me.” American government mostly works by interposition, standing between us, the free people at ... Read More