INSIDE HIGHER ED. MAY 30, 2013. With one month remaining until the interest rate for subsidized Stafford loans is set to double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent, President Obama will gather students today at the White House to call on Congress to act to prevent the increase, the White House announced Wednesday. Obama and Congressional Republicans have both proposed long-term fixes to the problem that would be based on the interest rates for Treasury bonds, but can't agree on the specifics of the plans -- such as whether the rate should vary from year to year for all borrowers or remain fixed over the life of the loan. Meanwhile, Congressional Democrats want to postpone the increase for a year or two to give themselves time to rewrite the Higher Education Act.