You've Got To Be Kidding Me

by digby

This is unbelievable. Apparently the Democrats not only can't break a filibuster on the new school loan bill, they may not even have 50 votes. What is going on here?

Harkin said he will attempt to use special budget rules that only require a simple majority vote to advance a bill that would end the Federal Family Education Loan program, which would free up money for other education programs.

But centrist Democrats are blanching at Harkin’s move to use the reconciliation process for an education bill that includes major policy reforms, echoing concerns they raised over using those rules for healthcare legislation.

It's unclear whether the bill has even the 51 votes it would need to advance under reconciliation. While the legislation has strong backing from the Obama administration, which predicts that it could save the government more than $87 billion over 10 years, Republicans oppose it and enough centrist Democrats have yet to get on board. The bill has already passed the House on a largely party-line vote.

This legislation is not only badly needed, it's incredibly popular. The idea that bankers should be allowed to skim a percentage off these government insured loans is stupid to begin with. Now that college tuition has gone through the roof --- especially for cash strapped state universities --- it's completely inane.

I don't know which Democratic Senators are refusing to vote for this bill, but I would bet a pretty penny that they are from states where banking and borrowing are big business. This is nothing but a scam and it always has been. And it's even more outrageous in this day and age of banking malfeasance a irresponsible loaning that this bill wouldn't easily pass with a huge majority.

I'm becoming more convinced than ever that the founders were drunk when they conceived the Senate. What a mistake.

Update: Bowers discusses the fact that Harkin is ready to use reconciliation to pass it. Meaning he's ready to use reconciliation

Update II: Jonathan Schwarz explains that the Senate knew exactly what they were doing when they created the Senate.

(Of course that doesn't mean they weren't also drunk ...)