Senate Labor and Human Resources Committee Chairman Jim M. Jeffords is expected to introduce legislation today that would cut the rate lenders may charge students for government-guaranteed student loans.
A committee vote on the bill is scheduled for Wednesday.
Sen. Jeffords' proposal is identical to one passed by the House Education Committee on March 19. The plan would cut the five-year average interest rate on these loans to 7%, from 7.8%. That cut is already scheduled to take effect July 1 under a provision of a 1993 law.
To appease lenders, however, both bills would supplement interest payments so the effective rate banks receive would be 7.5%.
Bankers oppose the compromise plan, arguing that interest rates would still be too low. Some institutions have even threatened to stop making government-guaranteed loans.
The Clinton administration has also condemned the plan, arguing that the $300 million annual supplement is unnecessary.