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via BBC News

In a rare outbreak of bipartisan voting, the US Congress has passed a measure preventing student loan interest rates from doubling.

With a deadline looming, lawmakers passed the measure as part of a larger transportation bill.

The legislative amity comes amid an election year that has been riven by rancour between party lines.

Four months from elections, no party wanted blame for students facing higher loan repayments, correspondents say.

White House spokesman Jay Carney said President Barack Obama looked forward to signing the bill.

Interest rates on federally backed student loans for about seven million people were set to double on 1 July from 3.4% to 6.8%.

It would have added $1,000 to the average cost of a loan.

The Democratic-led Senate passed the measure by a 74-19 vote, just minutes after the Republican-run House approved it 373-52.

The bill also extended funding for highway projects, which had been due to expire on 30 June.

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Article courtesy bbc.co.uk

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