Senate Republicans have acted to protect a few millionaires at the expense of millions of students by voting to block Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s student loan bill.
Warren’s budget amendment would have allowed college students to refinance their loans down to a 3.9% interest rate. Her proposal would have been paid for by a Buffett Rule tax on millionaires.
Video of Sen. Warren (D-MA) introducing her amendment:
Before the vote, Sen. Warren said:
Millions of borrowers are still stuck paying interest rates at 6 percent, 8 percent, 10 percent and even higher. The amendment would save borrowers hundreds if not thousands. We have a choice: protect a tax loophole for billionaires or give millions of middle-class people a chance to build some real economic security. … Congress has worked too long for the billionaires.
Last year, Republicans blocked our efforts to lower student loan interest rates … so tens of millions of borrowers got nothing. While Republicans were busy blocking student loan refinancing, our country’s student debt problem got worse, much worse.
By a vote of 46-53, Senate Republicans chose to protect the millionaires and billionaires.
A college degree is supposed to be a pathway to economic opportunity, but for millions of borrowers, students loans have become a fast lane to crippling debt. Affordable higher education options have been replaced with a system where students and parents must choose between expensive, very expensive, and unaffordable.
By not dealing with rising costs, Republicans are making higher education an option for the wealthy only. Blocking a bill that would help millions, and boost the economy, in order to protect millionaires and billionaires is the type of backwards thinking that caused the Great Recession.
Senate Republicans may have blocked Sen. Warren today, but she and her fellow Democrats will continue to fight on for students and the middle-class.