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GOP lawmakers backed bankers

Kansas’ three GOP House members voted last week against a bill thatwould stop subsidizing private lenders that provide federally guaranteedstudent loans, and would use the estimated $80 billion in savings over10 years to increase student grants and funding for other educationprograms. Rep. Todd Tiahrt, R-Goddard, criticized the bill as anothergovernment takeover that would leave families with fewer options andmore red tape. “We need to turn toward proven, free-market principlesand encourage job growth within the private sector,” he said in astatement.But Rep. George Miller, D-Calif., argued: “We were paying theseexorbitant subsidies to bankers who were taking government money,loaning it to somebody else, getting government guarantees that theloans would be paid back, and then taking all these profits.” WashingtonPost columnist E.J. Dionne wrote that the loan program is “already agovernment program. The bill simply eliminates corporate welfare.”