POSTED: Tuesday, May 8, 2012 - 4:00pm
UPDATED: Tuesday, May 8, 2012 - 4:04pm
NBC NATIONAL NEWS — The fight to keep federal student loan interest rates from going up has stalled.
Senate Republicans today voted down a Democratic version of a bill that would freeze rates for a year.
The 52-45 vote keeps the measure from moving forward; 60 votes were needed.
The debate is over how to pay it. A one-year freeze on federal student interest rates would cost about $6 billion.
Republicans oppose how Democrats plan to pay for it. They want their own version that would be paid for by eliminating portions of President Obama's health care plan.
If Congress doesn't act, interest rates for federal student loans are scheduled to increase from about 3.5 half percent to almost seven percent.