By Kim Glovas
VILLANOVA, Pa. (CBS) — The US Senate is expected to vote today or tomorrow on legislation which would freeze the interest on federal college loans for some 7.4 million people.
Catherine Wilson, an assistant professor of political science at Villanova University, says the student loan interest vote has become political in this election year.
“This is seen from the political angle as a battle for the student constituency, but it really does matter in terms of a short-term perspective if the interest rate rises, because the students are taking so much debt per year that it could really affect their long-term situation,” she tells KYW Newsradio.
If senators don’t approve the measure, student loan interest will double to 6.8 percent from the current rate of 3.4 percent per year.
Wilson says Republicans want to pay for the freeze by eliminating preventive health care programs under the Obama health care overhaul. Democrats want to pay for it by collecting more Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes from those earning more than $250,000 a year.
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