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Marco Rubio on student loan vote: "Surreal listening to Dem colleagues lecture me"

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., was among the Senate Republicans blocking a Democratic-led effort to freeze student loan rates.

By a 52 to 45 vote, with Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, voting "present," the Senate fell eight votes short of the number needed to cut off the debate and move forward. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-Fla., voted for moving forward with debate.

Republicans objected because Democrats wanted to close a tax loophole to fund the plan. The House of Representatives has passed legislation to freeze the rate, which would double to 6.8 percent July 1 if nothing is done. But Democrats disliked the GOP-authored House plan because it cut money for health care.

Rubio took to social media to explain his vote, saying this on Twitter: "As maybe only Sen paying a #studentloan surreal listening to Dem colleagues lecture me on #studentloandebt."

Rubio said he supports "a hundred percent making sure that the interest rates on student loans do not go up," but doesn't support the Democratic plan.

The 40-year-old senator still pays Sallie Mae each month for his law school education. It's an estimated $101,000 to $250,000 debt, according to his most recent financial disclosure report.

He's not the only high-profile U.S. leader who's griped about about paying back the loans. It's also become a frequent refrain on the campaign trail for President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama.

Read more here: http://blogs.mcclatchydc.com/washington/2012/05/senate-republicans-block-effort-to-debate-student-loan-bill.html#storylink=misearch#storylink=cpy

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