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June 11, 2014

Senate Republicans Vote Against Senator Warren and Students Again!

Update: As expected, Senate Republicans united to block Senator Warren's bill, the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, in a 56-38 vote Wednesday that fell short of the 60 votes needed to proceed to debate on the measure.  The bill would have allowed people with student loans to refinance their student debt at today's lower rates. The Obama administration said it could have helped nearly 25 million borrowers save approximately $2,000 each.

To learn more about the proposed bill, read on. 

Elizabeth Warren is my hero (and if you have student loans, she should be yours as well)!  Warren, the senior U.S. Senator from Massachusetts, introduced legislation last week that would allow eligible federal student loan borrowers (federal FFELP and Direct) to refinance their loans down to the rates offered to new federal student loan borrowers under the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act (passed in August 2013).

Other componments of the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act (S. 2292) include a provision that would allow eligible borrowers who are in good standing the option of refinancing their high-interest private student loans down to the rates offered to new federal student loan borrowers this year.  Those who utilize this component of the proposed law would also have access to the benefits and protections of the federal student loan program.

"Exploding student loan debt is crushing young people and dragging down our economy," said Senator Warren. "Allowing students to refinance their loans would put money back in the pockets of people who invested in their education. These students didn't go to the mall and run up charges on a credit card. They worked hard and learned new skills that will benefit this country and help us build a stronger middle class and a stronger America."

To cover the total cost of refinancing potentially tens of thousands of student loans, this proposed legislation would again attempt to implement "the Buffett rule," which would require American millionaires and billionaires to pay their "fair share" in taxes.   "Fair share," as explained in the Paying a Fair Share Act of 2012 (S. 2230), would have made people who earn $1 million or more per year in wages and investments pay at least 30% of their income in federal taxes.  In a vote largely along party lines in April 2012, 51 Senators voted in favor of S. 2230, while 45 voted against it.  Having failed to reach the 3/5ths majority needed for passage, the bill was prevented from moving forward in the legislative process (Senate vote number 65).

  • To learn more about the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, click here.
  • To read an endorsement of the legislation by the National Education Association, click here.
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