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U.S. House passes Kline student loan bill

kline portrait
Rep. John Kline

WASHINGTON — The U.S. House passed a Rep. John Kline-sponsored bill to tie student loan interest rates to market rates on Thursday.

All but four Democrats opposed the bill, which would tie interest rates on federal student loans to the government’s cost of borrowing, plus a couple of points. The final vote was 221-198, and the Minnesota delegation voted along party lines.

The bill is similar to a plan proposed by President Obama, insofar as both tie interest rates to the market, but the GOP and White House remain apart on what the rates should actually be. The White House threatened to veto the bill on Wednesday.

Interest rates on federal subsidized student loans will double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on July 1 absent congressional action. Lawmakers currently set the rates; Republicans have argued the rates should be market-based.

Congressional Democrats, including Senate leadership, prefer to extend the current interest rates for two years and reform them during a 2015 debate on overall federal higher-education policy. They argue Kline’s bill would make college more expensive for student borrowers.

Devin Henry can be reached at

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Comments (2)

  1. Submitted by Frank Phelan on 05/24/2013 - 05:55 am.

    Warren Redux

    Once again, a piece that fails any mention of Senator Elizabeth Warren’s own proposal to make student loans more affordable.


    • Submitted by Nancy Gertner on 10/18/2014 - 03:33 pm.

      Senate Majority member approach to Student Loans

      A valid point. However, if you look at the reporter’s scope, you might see his job is to cover members of the MN Congressional delegation.

      Senator Warren represents the people of Massachusetts.

      Though she might also be working hard enough to represent people from other states too!

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