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49 Senators Vote to Double Student Loan Rates (Are Your Senators on the List?)

51 members of the United States Senate voted yesterday for S.1238, a bill to keep the interest rate for undergraduate loans at an annual rate of 3.4% rather than double the student loan rate to 6.8% per year. That’s a bare majority in favor of keeping a university education more affordable for Americans. Low student loan interest rates make sense not just for those seeking an education but for also our overall society, since more educated Americans produce greater social benefit in their work, have greater health, and are more self-sufficient. We should encourage, not discourage, students who wish to better themselves and the world around them by investing in higher education.

Unfortunately, arcane rules mean that a majority isn’t enough to pass a bill in the Senate; passage requires 60 votes. 49 Senators voted against keeping college student loans at an annual interest rate of 3.4% — which means that the federal student loan interest rate will jump to an annual rate of 6.8%.

The following are the members of the Senate who voted to double student loan interest rates. Are your senators on this anti-student, anti-education list?

Senator Lamar Alexander (Republican-TN)
Senator Kelly Ayotte (Republican-NH)
Senator John Barrasso (Republican-WY)
Senator Roy Blunt (Republican-MO)
Senator John Boozman (Republican-AR)
Senator Richard Burr (Republican-NC)
Senator Saxby Chambliss (Republican-GA)
Senator Daniel Coats (Republican-IN)
Senator Thomas Coburn (Republican-OK)
Senator Thad Cochran (Republican-MS)
Senator Susan Collins (Republican-ME)
Senator Bob Corker (Republican-TN)
Senator John Cornyn (Republican-TX)
Senator Michael Crapo (Republican-ID)
Senator Ted Cruz (Republican-TX)
Senator Michael Enzi (Republican-WY)
Senator Deb Fischer (Republican-NE)
Senator Jeff Flake (Republican-AZ)
Senator Lindsey Graham (Republican-SC)
Senator Charles Grassley (Republican-IA)
Senator Orrin Hatch (Republican-UT)
Senator Dean Heller (Republican-NV)
Senator John Hoeven (Republican-ND)
Senator James Inhofe (Republican-OK)
Senator John Isakson (Republican-GA)
Senator Mike Johanns (Republican-NE)
Senator Ron Johnson (Republican-WI)
Senator Angus King (Independent-ME)
Senator Mark Kirk (Republican-IL)
Senator Mike Lee (Republican-UT)
Senator Joe Manchin (Democrat-WV)
Senator John McCain (Republican-AZ)
Senator Mitch McConnell (Republican-KY)
Senator Jerry Moran (Republican-KS)
Senator Lisa Murkowski (Republican-AK)
Senator Rand Paul (Republican-KY)
Senator Robert Portman (Republican-OH)
Senator Harry Reid (Democrat-NV)
Senator James Risch (Republican-ID)
Senator Pat Roberts (Republican-KS)
Senator Marco Rubio (Republican-FL)
Senator Tim Scott (Republican-SC)
Senator Jefferson Sessions (Republican-AL)
Senator Richard Shelby (Republican-AL)
Senator John Thune (Republican-SD)
Senator Patrick Toomey (Republican-PA)
Senator David Vitter (Republican-LA)
Senator Roger Wicker (Republican-MS)

As you can see, 46 out of the 49 senators voting to double student loan interest rates are Republicans. Take a look at the roll call record and you’ll see that not a single Republican senator voted to keep student loan interest rates low. Every single Republican in the Senate voted to hike student loan rates. The next time the leadership of the Republican Party meets to try and figure out why its candidates continually fail to attract the votes of young Americans, they won’t have to look very far for answers.

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