In this Nov. 27, 2012 photo Marquette University professor Tim Machan teaches a class on J.R.R. Tolkien that focuses on all of his books, books that influenced Tolkien and other tidbits about the writer. When "The Hobbit" movie opens Friday, the 32 students in the class will be nearly experts on J.R.R. Tolkien. (AP Photo/Carrie Antlfinger)
An effort to restore lower interest rates on student loans has failed in the Senate.
The White House and most Senate Democrats favored restoring interest rates on subsidized Stafford loans to 3.4 percent for another year. But lawmakers on Wednesday were unable to muster the necessary 60 votes to overcome a procedural hurdle.
That left interest rates at 6.8 percent -- a rate that leaders from both parties called unacceptable.
Interest rates doubled on July 1 because Congress was unable to send a bill to President Barack Obama for his signature.
Few students so far have been affected because few sign their loans during the summer. But roughly a quarter of all federal lending is through the program and the new rates could affect millions of students.