The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill Friday to hold down interest rates on some student loans. But the measure faces a veto threat from President Obama, who doesn't like the funding source.
The bill would keep rates on some student loans at 3.4 percent instead of doubling on July 1. It would pay for the measure by tapping a health care fund set up through the federal health care law. The fund's projects include breast cancer screening, childhood immunizations, research and wellness education.
Minnesota Republican Rep. John Kline is chairman of the House Education and the Workforce committee. He says the health care fund was fair game and had been earlier this year to prevent reductions in Medicare reimbursements for doctors.
"The fact that the president has himself cut and proposed cutting from this fund leads us to believe that this is much less of a non-starter than what the Democrats in the Senate proposed, which is raising taxes on small businesses, or what the Democrats in the House proposed, which is raising prices on oil and gas," he said.
The bill passed in the Republican-led House on a mostly party-line vote of 215-195.
The long-term solution to the issue should be to use an interest rate that varies with the market, Kline said.