(Corryville) -- Senator Sherrod Brown says unless Congress acts, the interest rate on new federally-backed student loans will double. Stafford loans are currently charged a 3.4% interest rate, but in July, without Congressional action, they'll go to 6.8%, because a measure approved in 2007 runs out.
Speaking to students at the University of Cincinnati, Sen. Brown says student loan debt in the United States is bigger than credit card debit, and auto loans. He says the debt is acting as a drag on the economy.
Brown says if the rate goes up, it will also deter some people from persuing higher education.
House Republicans have already passed a bill to prevent Stafford loan rates from doubling in July, but the President has promised a veto, because their plan takes money from a preventative health care fund.
Senator Brown has offered his own solution, paying for it by eliminating a tax loophole for small corporations.