Idaho Republican Sens. Mike Crapo and Jim Risch joined a bipartisan Senate majority late July 24 to reverse the recent spike in interest rates on federal student loan rates.
The bill, which would tie interest rates to the government's borrowing costs, passed in an 81-18 vote and now heads to the U.S. House, which hopes to approve the deal before lawmakers take a recess in early August. President Barack Obama and Education Secretary Arne Duncan have already signaled their support.
The deal offers students lower interest rates on federal student loans through the 2015 academic year. After that, rates could reach as high as 8.25 percent for undergraduate students, 9.5 percent for graduate students and 10.5 percent for parents under the agreement.
Interest rates on federal student loans doubled to 6.8 percent on July 1 after lawmakers couldn't agree on a fix, and the Senate had been deadlocked on a bill to deal with the issue until recently.