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Political Quick Hits: July 6th Edition

July 6, 2012 Front Page, Politics No Comments

Here’s your weekly quick look at few developing stories in the political arena:

  • President Obama will sign the recently-passed student loan and transportation legislation on Friday. Congress, in a rare bipartisan move, passed the job-creating transportation bill that also keeps interest rates low for millions of federal student loans and will also maintain federal flood insurance. The measure provides $105 billion in transportation spending over the next 27 months which is intended to create or save about 3 million jobs. (Reuters)
  • However, there are two BIG changes going on under the radar in the new student loan bill which will impact millions of students. While interest rates will remain low, students will likely face a $20 billion dollar increase in the cost of the loans. In the new law, students in graduate school will have to pay the interest on their federal loans while they are in grad school and immediately after they graduate. This means an extra $18 billion over the next decade for students. Also, going on under the radar, is that there is no longer a six-month grace period anymore for undergraduate students. This will cost students around $2 billion and means students can no longer wait six months after they graduate to start paying back federal loans. The change applies to new loans issued through July 2014. (Chicago Tribune)
  • It has been a week since the Supreme Court upheld President Obama’s health care law, and Americans so far are divided on it. According to the first USA Today/Gallup Poll released after the ruling, 46 percent of Americans agree with the court’s ruling and 46 percent say they disagree. Predictably, 79 percent of Democrats agreed with the decision to uphold the law, while 83 percent of Republicans disagreed with the court’s ruling. As far as independent voters, 45 percent agreed with the Supreme Court’s decision, and 42 percent disagreed. (Gallup)
  • And finally, new voter ID laws are an election issue in parts of the country, and officials from the state of Pennsylvania announced this week that new numbers suggest even more of its citizens could be prevented from voting in this November’s election. New data suggests as many as 750,000 voters in the battleground state could be impacted by the state’s new strict voter ID law. The law passed in May requires all voters in Pennsylvania to show a valid acceptable photo ID at the polls. (CBS News)


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