House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called the student loan interest rate plan approved by the Democrat-led Senate on Wednesday evening a "vast improvement" over the plan approved by the Republican-led House earlier this year. She said the new legislation has broad support in the House, and she plans to vote for it.

The Senate's plan would tie the interest rates on most federal education loans to the market, replacing the current system of having a fixed rate for years on end. For the coming school year, undergraduates could lock in loans with a 3.86 percent interest rate, down from the current 6.8 percent. Graduate students would have a rate of 5.41 percent, down from 6.8 percent. And PLUS loans, which are taken out by graduate students and parents, would have a 6.41 percent rate, down from 7.9 percent.