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Moring Action: Senate Reaches Deal on Student Loan Interest Rates

STUDENT LOANS.  The Senate reached a deal on student loan interest rates Wednesday night:

Key bipartisan Senate negotiators met in Majority Whip Dick Durbin’s Office late Wednesday and emerged confident that they could finally put the vexing issue behind them.

Alexander, the top Republican on education issues, said their proposal would apply retroactively to students who have already drawn federal loans at higher rates which went into effect on July 1.

A Senate aide familiar with the talks said the bill could go on the floor as soon as tomorrow. Leadership aides said that’s implausible but not impossible. Otherwise the bill would get a floor vote early next week.

The federal government should eventually get out of the student loan business altogether.  Heritage notes:

any proposal advanced in Congress should employ fair-value accounting to determine the cost of the student loan program. Those estimates should be used to adjust interest rates accordingly to ensure there is no subsidy for the loan program moving forward. 

IST.  Economist Arthur B. Laffer is pushing for an internet sales tax yet again:

Lawmakers need to come to grips with our subpar economic performance and enact reforms to jumpstart growth. 

Part of his solution is to tax the internet.  Heritage has explained why that is a bad idea; it would be bad for consumers, taxpayers, and small businesses.  Moreover, it would undermine federalism and would be a form of taxation without representation.

IMMIGRATION.  The House wants to secure the borders first in any immigration reform deal:

Arkansas Rep. Tom Cotton isn’t swayed by the bipartisan coalition that passed a comprehensive immigration bill in the Senate or the warnings by senior Republicans that the GOP needs to act on the issue to appeal to Latino voters.

And with that, the lanky freshman represents the significant hurdles facing efforts to craft immigration legislation that might possibly be able to pass both the House of Representatives and the Senate.

The Heritage Foundation has outlined a positive path to reforming our immigration system.   Securing the border is of utmost importance.

PATH ACT. Heritage Action supports Rep. Hensarling’s (R-TX) PATH Act to dissolve Fannie and Freddie:

There are few entities more responsible for the collapse of the financial system than Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  The PATH Act would completely dissolve Fannie and Freddie and take a substantial step forward toward a housing finance system that protects both taxpayers and homeowners.  Chairman Hensarling deserves credit for advancing solid conservative solutions to one of our nation’s most pressing problems and taking on the numerous special interests that benefit from the status quo.  Conservative Members of Congress should support his legislation.

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