Letter: Partisanship doomed chance to extend student loan rate

On July 10, senators failed to broker a temporary deal to maintain federal student loan interest rates, which rose automatically on July 1 to 6.8 percent. Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., could not muster the 60 votes needed to invoke cloture on a bill that would have extended the previous interest rate of 3.4 percent for subsidized undergraduate loans for one year.

Proposed by Sen. Jack Reed, D-R.I., the plan would have cost $4.25 billion, offset by changing the tax treatment of certain inherited IRAs and 401(k)s. The bill received no Republican support, ensuring under current Senate  rules that it would not receive a final vote for passage. Sen. Lisa Murkowski voted no, Sen. Mark Begich voted yes.

— Ed Cullinane

Anchorage