Political battle over student loans heating up

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Democrats and Republicans say they want to prevent the cost of federal loans from doubling for millions of students. But in an intensifying election-year battle, each party wants to pay for it with savings the other side hates.

In the latest political chess move in the fight, Speaker John Boehner scheduled a House vote for Friday on a GOP bill preventing the 3.4 percent interest rate on subsidized Stafford loans from doubling as scheduled on July 1.

The bill's $5.9 billion cost would be paid for with cuts from President Barack Obama's health care overhaul law, which Democrats consider a major accomplishment.

A Senate Democratic bill would freeze interest rates but be paid for with fresh payroll taxes on some high-income, privately owned corporations, which Republicans reject.