Senate Democrats plan a vote next month on their own legislation extending today's interest rates for a year and paid for by making it harder for high-earning owners of many privately owned corporations to shield some of their income from Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes. That vote will also be little more than political posturing because Senate Republicans are certain to derail the measure.
House Republicans prevailed Friday only after staunching a brewing rebellion among their own conservatives, many of whom are skeptical about whether the government should subsidize student loans at all.
A lobbying campaign by outside conservative groups like Club for Growth and Heritage Action for America pressured GOP lawmakers to vote "no." But an 11th-hour effort by GOP leaders to keep their rank-and-file onboard prevailed and Republicans ended up backing the legislation 202-30 — with half the opposition coming from the feisty, largely conservative GOP class of freshmen.
"The government doesn't belong in that business," said Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz.
Associated Press writers Jim Abrams and Donna Cassata contributed to this report.
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