Senate Republicans Filibuster Student Loan Bill Again | Senate Republicans filibustered a bill to extend the current interest rate on federal student loans, blocking an extension from moving forward by a vote of 51-43 (with 60 votes needed to advance the bill). They blocked a similar effort earlier this month. Without an extension, interest rates will double in July from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. A competing Republican proposal was voted down by a count of 34-62. Senate Republicans have falsely portrayed the Democratic plan to offset the cost of extending the current interest rate as a tax hike on job-creating small businesses.