The House Votes to Take Over Student Loans

Since I work in the field of higher education I am more tuned into the news regarding student loan funding.  We have been tracking the funding bills that have been coming up and this one seems to smack of too much government involvement.  An interesting article was posted this morning at Redstate.com on this very subject in regards to HR 3221. 

From RedState.com:

If you want an indication of just how radical the Democrats in Congress have become, consider the vote on H.R. 3221. The legislation, which I wrote about yesterday, shuts down all private lenders for higher education student loans, requires that colleges and universities adhere to a new federal bureaucracy, creates a new Green Schools Czar, and hints that any school not complying will see its students denied federal student loans.

Last year, Congress passed the Ensuring Continued Access to Student Loans Act (ECASLA). The bill passed in the House 388-21, including 221-0 among Democrats. The Senate passed it by unanimous consent. President Bush signed it. The legislation was a bi-partisan piece of legislation that allowed private sector involvement in student loans without a new federal bureaucracy.

This year, the Republican substitute to HR 3221 would extend ECASLA programs through 2014 and create a commission to develop a new private sector model for student lending. The amendment failed 165-265. 257 Democrats unanimously voted no.

Final passage of HR 3221 was 253-171. 4 Democrats voted no, 6 Republicans vote aye.

The Democrats have now rejected the same legislation they unanimously supported last year in favor of a new, expansive federal bureaucracy.

Some of you may say, “so what, the government is already involved in backing funding for the Stafford program.”  This may be true, but what this will do is give total control of the student loan system to the Fed eliminating any choice by students.  Why was the original legislation a good idea last year but all of a sudden the previous vote meant nothing?  Ahh, you have to just love politics!

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