Oh - and it will cost about $100 billion a year!
The vote on the bill was 253-171, with 4 Democrats voting no and 6 Republicans voting yes. Our representative, Marcy Kaptur, voted with her party in the affirmative.
Last year, Congress voted on the Ensuring Continued Access to Student Loans Act (ECASLA), approving it by a vote of 388-21, with unanimous Democrat support - including Kaptur.
That bill allowed private sector lending and didn't create a new agency:
"The bill urges the Federal Financing Bank, the Federal Reserve, and other federal-chartered private entities such as the Federal Home Loan Banks to work with the Departments of Treasury and Education to ensure that students and families have access to federal student loans in the 2008-2009 academic year."
Because this bill had such broad support last year, the Republicans in Congress offered an amendment to extend ECASLA through 2014 as a substitute for H.R. 3221. Makes sense, doesn't it? After all, ECASLA had unanimous support from the Democrats - why wouldn't they want to continue something they'd previously supported?
Apparently, something changed - drastically!
The amendment failed 165-265 with 257 Democrats unanimously voting no - including Kaptur.
Why? Why was the private sector the solution last year, but government is the solution this year?
And why did Kaptur vote in favor of the private sector provision last year, but against it this year?