Senate Republicans have blocked Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s student loan refinancing bill that would have helped 40 million borrowers because it would have raised taxes on millionaires.
Warren’s student loan refinancing bill, the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, failed by a vote of 58-38. (Harry Reid changed his vote to a no for procedural reasons.) Sens. Susan Collins (R-ME), Bob Corker (R-TN) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) were the only Republicans to vote for the bill.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said, “In America today, millions of Americans are caught in financial quicksand, and they are looking for a helping hand to pull them to safety. Instead, the Republican leader has reaffirmed his commitment to the status quo. Why reform today, what he and his party say they’ll reform next year?”
Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) continued to hide the real reason why he was blocking the bill, “The Senate Democrats’ bill isn’t really about students at all. It’s really all about Senate Democrats Because Senate Democrats don’t actually want a solution for students. They want an issue to campaign on — to save their own hides in November.”
Sen. Warren said before the vote, “With this vote we show the American people who we work for in the United States Senate: billionaires or students. A vote on this legislation is a vote to give millions of young people a fair shot at building their future.”
McConnell and thirty seven other Senate Republicans opposed the bill because it would have been paid for by imposing a 30% tax on millionaires who earn $1-$2 million per year. The vote today demonstrated that Republicans don’t care about giving young people a fair shot at building for the future. They are only interested in cementing the current inequality gap in our society protecting the wealthiest Americans at all costs.
Sen. Warren’s bill would have allowed millions of student loan borrowers a chance to cut their interest rate from 7% to 3.86%. This legislation wasn’t an election year tactic like the endless Republican Benghazi investigations. It was a lifeline thrown to millions of people who are drowning under the burden of interest rates that are nearly double the current rate. The Republican obstruction of this bill is equivalent to turning student loans into a form of loan sharking.
The message that this vote is sending today is that Republicans don’t care about the American people. The were bought, paid for, and solely represent the interests of the very wealthiest among us.
Jason is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association