Senate Democratic leaders “have decided to pair an overhaul of federal student lending with healthcare reform, according to a Democratic official familiar with negotiations,” The Hill reports.
But leaders may have to reverse themselves if they receive strong pushback from Democratic colleagues who represent states where lenders employ hundreds of constituents.
Jim Manley, a spokesman for Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.), said no final decision has been made.
“We’re still looking at the options,” Manley said.
Several of the Democrats who are expected to oppose the student loan legislation are centrists who could reconsider their support for healthcare reform if the two issues are joined.
Here’s a key reason why they would decide to include student loan legislation in the reconciliation package.
In addition, Democrats can only move one reconciliation package through the Senate until the Congress passes a new budget resolution. That means if they do not twin student lending with healthcare reform, lawmakers will have to wait until later this year.