Health reform plus student lending?
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|Tue, 03-09-2010 - 9:08pm|
Dem plan to pair health reform, student lending complicates vote
Senate Democratic leaders have decided to pair an overhaul of federal student lending with healthcare reform, according to a Democratic official familiar with negotiations.
“It’s going in,” said the Democratic source, in reference to the student lending measure.
Jim Manley, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), said no final decision has been made.
“We’re still looking at the options,” Manley said.
Several of the Democrats who are expected to oppose the student loan legislation are centrists who could reconsider their support for healthcare reform if the two issues are joined.
President Barack Obama has made reforming student loan programs a high priority of his first term, and the savings created by lending directly to students could save the government $67 billion over 10 years.
But the student loan industry estimates that nearly 35,000 jobs would be lost if the federal government lent directly to students and only let private companies service the loans.
Sallie Mae, one of the largest private lenders, would cut an estimated 2,500 workers in Pennsylvania, Indiana, Delaware, Virginia, New York and Ohio.
Nelnet, a student lending company based in Nebraska, has already laid off employees in Indiana and Florida and could cut additional workers in Colorado.