On Friday, the House of Representatives passed a bill that included as part of it the ability to keep Subsidized Stafford loan interest rates at 3.4% for one more year. This would assist students for one more year in keeping their interest rates at a lower rate than the 6.8% (double what it currently is) that it is scheduled to go up to on July 1.
We will see what happens with this bill as it goes up the pipeline. First it has to pass the Senate, and if it changes in the Senate, then it goes back to the House. Once the House and Senate approve, then it goes to the President to be signed into law. The fear is that he will veto the bill, and so far the news from the White House is that Obama will veto the bill.
But have you been keeping track of this debate? Here's a small lesson in politics, which will be a great example of how FA laws seem to go through half the time.
As stated above, there benefits to students who have a lower interest loan. And Obama was saying a week ago that he is going to stand by students and was willing to help them by keeping the Subsidized loan at 3.4%. His opponent didn't specifically say one way or the other what his plans were, but his comments haven't been viewed as being favorable toward it.
So, why the sudden change in tone from he Administration? It's all politics, friends. You see, when a Republican led House passes a bill, and when that bill goes to a Democrat President, it suddenly is evil and must be killed. And even though he supported it a week ago, it is from the Republicans, so therefore it is bad.
One must keep in mind, however, that the news is early, and there may be more to the bill that is unsavory for the Democrats, but it's also early in the sense that it still has to pass the Senate. And rest assured that changes will be made in the Senate! However, it became painfully obvious today that the simple act of ensuring a low interest rate for student loans (and only Subsidized loans) is nothing more than a political tool of being elected or re-elected rather than helping the constituents it is meant for.
Now this isn't meant to cause anyone to get into an uproar one way or the other. It is more often than not typical politics. Nothing new. With FA, most rules are created as either political tools (as in this case), or they are created by people who don't know what the ramifications of their rules will do (such as the gainful employment rules). All we in the industry can say is: "it is what it is."
Welcome to the fun of studying the political side of FA, friends!