Senate Could Kill Obama's Student Loan Fix

Private lenders have friends in the upper chamber of Congress
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 11, 2010 12:46 PM CST
President Barack Obama speaks at the Export-Import Bank's Annual Conference in Washington, Thursday, March 11, 2010.   (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)

(Newser) – House Democrats are trying to find a way to pass Barack Obama’s student loan reform plan, but they may be powerless in the face of the Senate's intent to kill it. Because the Senate is full of private lending allies willing to filibuster the bill, Democrats had hoped to slap the bill onto the health care reconciliation measure. But now Senate Democrats tell the New York Times that probably won’t happen.

Reconciliation measures must decrease the budget. Obama’s plan, which would cut private lenders out of the federal loan program, would save the government billions, but the House version of the bill would have spent all the savings to expand other education programs, Kent Conrad explained. Meanwhile six Senate Democrats, including Blanche Lincoln, Ben Nelson, Mark Warner, Jim Webb and Thomas Carper, sent a letter to Harry Reid staunchly opposing the plan.

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