The Senate is unlikely to strike a deal to prevent student loan rates from rising on July 1.
On Thursday, two groups of senators—one a bipartisan group that includes Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Tom Coburn (R-OK), the other of just Democrats—planned to release proposals to prevent rates from doubling from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent while Congress is taking a vacation for the July 4 holiday.
A group of Democrats—Sens. Jack Reed (D-RI), Kay Hagan (D-NC), Tom Harkin (D-IA), Al Franken (D-MN), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), and Debbie Stabenow (D-MI)—planned a press conference for Thursday afternoon to announce a plan for another one-year extension of current rates.
But neither is likely to come up for a vote on the floor before senators depart for that holiday.
(Read More: Boehner on Loans: Obama, Do it My Way)
Asked why it's taken until June 27 to come up with a proposal to fix a problem that crystallizes on July 1, Sen. Angus King (I-ME) quipped, "It's like Dr. Johnson's comment about the dog that could walk on its hind legs. The remarkable thing is not that it's done well, it's that it's done at all."
Most in Congress agree the loan rates should to stay lower than 6.8 percent, at least for the subsidized Stafford loans used by the country's lowest-income students. But they're stuck on how to get there.
Republicans want to let the rates fluctuate with the markets every year and use the proceeds for deficit reduction. Democrats say that's unreasonable and want to cap how fast rates can rise.