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BOSTON—U.S. Sen. Scott Brown joined other Senate Republicans Tuesday to derail a Democratic bill aimed at keeping interest rates on federal college loans from doubling July 1, prompting criticism from Democrats in his home state who said he was hurting middle-class families.
Tuesday's vote on the student loan bill, largely on partisan lines, came a day after Brown said he supported a one-year extension of the current 3.4 percent interest rate on federal student loans. Brown said it's time to come up with a bipartisan solution.
"The job market is dismal and the cost of getting a college education is out of control," Brown said. "We should be working together on a solution that prevents these rates from skyrocketing."
Massachusetts Democrats said Brown's vote showed he was standing with the national Republican Party, not middle-class Massachusetts families.
"Senate Democrats put forth a measure to keep student loan rates low, but Scott Brown joined Senate Republicans to block it," said Massachusetts Democratic Party Chairman John Walsh.
Both Brown and his chief Democratic rival, Elizabeth Warren, say they support extending the lower rate for another year. Brown has proposed paying for the extension by reducing what he called "improper payments made by the federal government" including payments sent to the wrong recipient or incorrect amounts sent to the right recipients.