Student loan rate, plus more to watch for Monday in politics

Phil Pruitt

The hot topic in Washington on Monday is keeping the interest rate on federally subsidized student loans from doubling July 1.

That issue is at the top of the agenda when the Senate convenes at 2 p.m. EDT after a weeklong recess, and it will be the topic of a conference call President Obama will hold with student government leaders.

Democrats and Republicans support keeping the rate at 3.4 percent, but how to cover the cost is where it gets thorny. Democrats would pay for the $6 billion price tag by collecting more Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes from high-earning owners of some privately held corporations. Republicans would finance the program by eliminating a preventive program established by Obama's health care overhaul.

A test vote is expected Tuesday in the Senate. Republicans already have passed a bill in the House that would keep the rate down and cut the preventive health program.

Out on the campaign trail, Mitt Romney will attend a fundraiser in Indiana ahead of Tuesday's primary, and Vice President Joe Biden will appear at campaign events in Nashville, Tenn., and Atlanta, Ga.

And then there is this: Hillary Rodham Clinton said it again in an interview Monday in India. She does not plan to run for president in 2016. "I would like to come back to India and just wander around without the streets being closed," she said. "I just want to get back to taking some deep breaths, feeling that there are other ways I can continue to serve." She also said she hopes to see a woman elected president in her life time.

Sources: Yahoo! News, Associated Press

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