Senate Dems Ready Bill Freezing Student Loan Costs

WASHINGTON (AP) - Senate Democrats are getting ready to push an election-year bill preventing interest rates from rising for millions of students with federal loans. Republicans are balking at a tax boost on privately held corporations that Democrats may use to pay for it.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid unveiled the $5.9 billion bill late Tuesday after the effort was endorsed by both President Barack Obama and his likely GOP rival this fall, Mitt Romney.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell said Republicans favor keeping today's 3.4 percent interest rates for subsidized loans from doubling in July. He said the big question is how to pay for it.

The measure would raise money by making owners of many privately held companies pay more Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes. Republicans oppose that idea.