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Student loan rate extension passed under threat of veto

Chris Moody
The Ticket
FILE - In this April 18, 2012 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks in Dearborn, Mich. More than three million health insurance policyholders and thousands of employers will share $1.3 billion in rebates this year, thanks to President Barack Obama's health care law, a nonpartisan research group said a report.   (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)
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FILE - In this April 18, 2012 file photo, President Barack Obama speaks in Dearborn, Mich. More than three million health insurance policyholders and thousands of employers will share $1.3 billion in rebates this year, thanks to President Barack Obama's health care law, a nonpartisan research group said a report. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya, File)

The House on Friday passed a Republican version of a bill that would extend the low 3.4 percent rate on government-subsidized student loans, despite pressure from conservative groups to oppose the measure and a veto threat from the White House.

The Republican bill, which passed by a close vote of 215-195, would extend the low interest rate on student loans for one year. Unless Republicans and Democrats can agree on a final bill, the rate for federally subsidized student loans will double this year. Democrats support extending the rate but disagree with the way Republicans want to pay for it.

To make up for the $5.9 billion shortfall that comes with an extension of the low rate, Republicans offered to eliminate the Prevention and Public Health Fund, which was created by the 2010 Affordable Care Act. The White House issued a statement before the vote vowing to veto the Republican House version, guaranteeing that the debate over the legislation will continue.

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