The Senate is the newest arena in the election-year face-off over student loans, and both sides are starting out by pounding away at each other.
The Senate plans to vote Tuesday on whether to start debating a Democratic plan to keep loan rates for 7.4 million students from doubling on July 1.
The $6 billion measure would be paid for by collecting more Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes from high-earning owners of some privately held corporations.
The GOP version also would freeze today's 3.4 percent interest rates on subsidized Stafford loans for one more year. It would be financed by eliminating a preventive health program established by President Barack Obama's health overhaul.
Everyone expects a deal before July 1 because no one wants rates to balloon before November's elections.
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