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Republicans Propose Offsetting Student Loans With Pension Contributions

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Members of Congress are still haggling over student loan interest rates, which are set to double in July.
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Members of Congress are still haggling over student loan interest rates, which are set to double in July.

U.S. House Republican leaders now want to keep student loan interest rates low by increasing what federal workers pay into their pensions. 

Interest rates on student loans will double in July if Congress does nothing. The two parties have been in a standoff over how to pay for extending today's low rates. This week Republicans offered to keep those rates low by forcing government works to contribute more into their pension plans. The plan isn't sitting well with Democrats in the region.

"By my count this is the seventh attempt by the Republican majority here in the House to fund something entirely unrelated on the backs of federal employees," said Rep. Gerry Connolly, (D-Va.). 

Connolly accused Republicans of trying to make a political point on the backs of government employees.

"No other group in America has been asked to make any kind of sacrifice, certainly not their oil and millionaire friends," Connolly said of Republicans. "And if we're going to talk about pay-fors, let's start with a basis of equity and this isn't it."

Republicans maintain that federal workers have better pension plans than most Americans, so it's a natural source of new revenue in this time of austerity, they say.

WAMU 88.5

Remains In Jamestown Linked To Early Colonial Leaders

Scientists from the Smithsonian's National Museum of Natural History and The Jamestown Rediscovery Foundation say they've identified four men buried in the earliest English church in America.
WAMU 88.5

The Democracy Of The Diner

Whether the decor is faux '50s silver and neon or authentic greasy spoon, diners are classic Americana, down to the familiar menu items. Rich, poor, black, white--all rub shoulders in the vinyl booths and at formica counters. We explore the enduring appeal and nostalgia of the diner.

WAMU 88.5

D.C. Council Member David Grosso

D.C. Council Member and Chair of the Committee on Education David Grosso joins us to discuss local public policy issues, including the challenges facing D.C. Public Schools.

NPR

Twitter Faces Challenges As It tries To Balance Profitability, Popularity

The social network Twitter is popular with users, but that's not enough. It also needs to be profitable, and by its 140-character nature that's a challenge.

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