Republicans Pick Wealthy Tax Dodgers Over Students
May 8, 2012 | By ThinkProgress War Room
Republicans Block Senate Action on Bill to Prevent Student Loan Rate Hike
As we’ve discussed before, student loan interest rates are set to double on July 1 unless Congress takes action. Before it recess, House Republicans passed a mean-spirited bill that paid for the extension of current rates by robbing an important preventive health fund that disproportionately benefits women and children by providing cancer screenings and immunizations, among many other things. For their part, House Democrats had instead proposed paying for the extension by ending billions in wasteful taxpayer giveaways to Big Oil, which just last week reported $33.5 BILLION in profits for the first quarter.
Here’s the rundown on today’s action.
WHAT: A bill to prevent student loan interest rates from doubling.
WHERE: The U.S. Senate.
HOW WAS IT PAID FOR: Instead of going along with the GOP’s latest salvo in its war on women, Senate Democrats instead proposed closing a tax loophole that allows wealthy people to avoid paying employment taxes.
WHAT WAS THE VOTE: As is now typical, Republicans demanded a 60-vote threshold on the bill, meaning it failed despite garnering the support of 53 senators. Of those voting today, every Democrat* voted in favor of taking up the bill, Sen. Olympia Snowe (R-ME) voted “present,” and every single other Republican voted against even debating the bill.