Ohio College Dems scold senator for loan rate vote

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Ohio College Dems scold senator for loan rate vote

OSU Lantern – Some letters are full of cordial remarks, thanks, sincere salutations and best wishes. But not the one that the College Democrats of Ohio sent to Sen. Rob Portman R-OH.

College Democrats of Ohio sent the letter to Portman on Monday, condemning him for voting against a Democratic proposal in Congress to freeze federal student loan interest rates.

The proposal was shot down May 8, which would have frozen Stafford loan interest rates at 3.4 percent by eliminating a tax break for wealthy citizens. If no action is taken in Congress, those interest rates will double to 6.8 percent on July 1.

The Congressional Budget Office has estimated that it would cost close to $6 billion for one year to extend the current federal student loan interest rates. According to the White House website, about seven million students nationwide would accrue an additional $1,000 in interest over their lifetime if the rates are not extended.

Debate between Republicans and Democrats in Congress addresses where the $6 billion would come from. Both parties agree the student interest rates should stay at 3.4 percent.

However, Senate Republicans proposed the funding to come from eliminating a public health fund created by Obama’s new health-care law. Senate Democrats, who proposed the failed legislation, said they want the money to come from taking away a tax break for the wealthy.

The letter was signed by 10 different university College Democrats presidents, including Ohio State’s president, Mallory Kimble.

Kimble said what she wants OSU students to take away from the letter is that while Portman voted “no” against the wishes of students, Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-OH, voted for them.

“I hope students remember this November that Sen. Brown voted for students, when Sen. Portman did not,” Kimble said.

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