The House on Friday approved a controversial bill that extends low interest rates on subsidized student loans for another year, but pays for that extension by killing a piece of the 2010 healthcare law, which prompted a veto threat from President Obama Friday morning.
Members approved the Interest Rate Reduction act in a 215-195 vote, with 30 Republicans voting against the bill, while 13 Democrats supported it. The end of the vote was confusing, with a few members appearing to switch their votes before the final tally.
The vote is one of the rare cases in which a bill was passed without getting a true majority of the House, which is 218 votes. In this vote, 10 Republicans and 12 Democrats did not vote on the bill.
The final vote was so narrow, due to the 30 Republicans who voted against it, that a decision by the 13 Democrats who favored it could have defeated the bill if they switched votes at the last minute.
Republicans came under some pressure ahead of the vote from conservative groups that said government should stay out of the student loan business. The Club for Growth said Friday morning it would score the legislation, meaning those voting for it would get a black mark from the organization.