Today at noon, 44 Republican Senators voted to allow the interest rate on subsidized Stafford loans to double in July. Why? Because Republicans couldn't bring themselves to finally -- for once -- vote in favor of middle- and working-class Americans. Republicans have an issue with the "pay for," or how a bill gets financed. Here's what they have a problem with:
The Democrats’ bill would finance it by requiring law, accounting and other professional services firms with three or fewer shareholders to pay withholding taxes on annual income of more than $250,000. The firms, known as S corporations, currently can treat their income as profit and avoid the withholding tax.And what did Republicans propose as a "pay-for"? Senate Republicans want to deplete the Prevention & Public Health Fund. Ezra Klein of the Washington Post writes about the Prevention Fund:
The Prevention Fund’s biggest investments have been in two areas: Increasing the size of the health care workforce and implementing community-based, health care interventions.So there you have it, folks. On a bill that should be a no-brainer, Republicans bring to the table a plan to literally abolish a public health care fund. Abolish. Get rid of it. Deplete. Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) had this to say:
“We all agree we’re not going to allow the interest rate to go up... It’s ridiculous that we’re having these kind of show votes on the floor when we could sit down and negotiate an outcome, and that’s what will happen. It ought to happen sooner rather than later.”Senate Republicans didn't want a "show vote" so that they could quietly offer a pay-for that completely screws over America's middle class and not get flak for it. So now we're going to keep pushing. We know who the enemy is. We're going to keep the pressure on Republicans to come up with a serious proposal -- not depleting public health funds. Students across America should feel insulted that the Republicans came up with such a sorry pay-for... they must not be taking this vote seriously.
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