Policy Round-Up: Student Loans

Written by

Nakia Gladden
Nakia Gladden

The U.S. Senate recently failed to pass the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act (S. 2432). The bill, introduced by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), sought to allow students who took out student loans to refinance permitting them to take advantage of new (and lower) interest rates established for students who applied for federal loans after 2013.

LEEANN HALL EXPLAINED THE OUTCOME OF THE VOTE AND THE IMPORTANCE OF THE BILL:

“The U.S. Senate held a vote recently to bring up legislation allowing student debt holders to refinance old loans at lower current interest rates. The motion to debate the “Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act” (S. 2432) garnered a 56-38 majority but fell short of the 60 votes needed to open debate.” “Republicans cast 37 of the 38 “no” votes. Only three Republicans joined 53 Democrats and Independents in voting to debate the bill.”

“For members of the college and high school classes of 2014, and for past graduates, this effort to tackle the student debt issue is sorely needed. For whether their degrees are in math, science, history or English, our graduates are coming out of college schooled in something else entirely: the crushing weight of student loan debt.”

Read the full article in The Hill

DANIELLE DOUGLAS, OF THE WASHINGTON POST, DISCUSSED HER DISSATISFACTION WITH THE SENATE’S FAILURE TO PASS THE BILL:

“Millions of Americans saddled with high interest on their student loans just lost a chance to have the rate lowered as Senate Republicans shot down on Wednesday legislation that would have let borrowers refinance their debt. But the fight ain’t over.”

“There was little chance that the GOP would back a bill that called for the creation of a new tax on millionaires to offset the cost of lowering interest rates. Warren said earlier in the month that Democrats were open to alternative plans to pay for the rate reduction, but her colleagues across the isle had none to offer.”

Read the full article in The Washington Post

THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION RELEASED AN OFFICIAL STATEMENT:

“S. 2432 would offset the cost of its refinancing provisions by implementing the “Buffett Rule,” which would set a minimum tax rate for taxpayers with annual incomes over $1 million. The Administration strongly supports this proposal to ensure that the Nation’s wealthiest are not able to use tax preferences and shelters to reduce their tax rate below what many middle-class families pay.”

“The Administration is committed to working with Congress on ensuring that college remains affordable for American families by promoting innovation and competition within higher education, maintaining funding for critical Federal student aid like Pell Grants, and assuring borrowers that affordable repayment options will exist to help them meet their financial obligations after they leave school.”

Read the full statement at Whitehouse.gov

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