In Congress, Gridlock And Harsh Consequences

"Despite finger-pointing news conferences and radio addresses by both parties on Capitol Hill, Congress let interest rates double last week on federally subsidized student loans," The New York Times reports. "Even in some of the worst years of partisan gridlock, a deadline has meant something to Congress — until 2013. Drop-dead dates have come and gone this year, causing real-world consequences. ... At this time in 2011, Congress had passed 23 laws on the way toward the lowest total since those numbers began being tracked in 1948. This year, 15 have been passed so far. ... 'Congress has always had this habit of going to the brink and then passing something, but in the last months, something has changed,' said Justin Draeger, the president of the National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators, which has been pressing for compromise on student loans. 'Recent examples of Congressional inaction have left us pessimistic. I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it’s not looking good.'"

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