WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republicans derailed a Democratic bill on Tuesday that would keep interest rates on federal college loans from doubling July 1 in an election-year battle aimed at the hearts — and votes — of millions of students and their parents.

Republicans said they favor preventing the interest rate increase but blocked the Senate from debating the $6 billion measure because they oppose how Democrats would pay for it: Boosting Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes on high-earning stockholders of some privately owned corporations.

GOP senators want a vote on their own version heading off the interest rate increases and paid for by eliminating a preventive health fund created by President Barack Obama's 2010 health care overhaul. That financing idea has no chance of passing the Democratic-run Senate and has drawn a veto threat from the White House.

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