Senate deal would freeze student-loan rates for year

The agreement would freeze the interest rate for a year, preventing it from doubling from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on July 1, making college more affordable for students as tuition costs are rising.

Although leaders in both parties said they favored the rate freeze, they argued about how to cover its $6 billion cost…

The House had approved a GOP-backed bill to pay for the rate freeze by eliminating a preventive-care fund created by Obama’s health-care law. That measure did not receive the 60 votes necessary to advance in the Senate. But neither did a competing Democratic proposal to pay for the student loan item by closing a tax loophole that allows some small-business executives to avoid payroll taxes.

Boehner spokesman Michael Steel said House leaders will review the Senate proposal. But McConnell’s assertion that the deal would find favor in the House suggests that Republicans on both sides of the Capitol are prepared to sign off on it.