Dems, Led By MA Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Push For Bill To Lower Student Loan Rates

May 13, 2014  |  

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Student debt is out of control. The numbers say so. Recently The Huffington Post looked at the current coats of college versus nine years ago, and the increases are significant.  The cost of public four-year colleges went from just over $10,000 in 2005 to nearly $20,000 in 2012. Private college tuition was a little more than $25,000 nine years ago. Now it’s more than $30,000. And student debt was less than $20,000 in 2005. Now it’s just shy of $30,000.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren is trying to push through some changes that will help students with student loan debt. And the rest of the Democrats have gotten behind it. The student loan bill introduced is a “wedge issue” in the 2014 midterm elections, forcing Republican candidates to either support it or explain why they don’t, reports Mother Jones.

Warren’s legislation would decrease interest rates on most federal student loans below four percent, reducing millions of Americans’ bills by hundreds or thousands of dollars a year. According to a recent Harvard poll, 57  percent of Americans ages 18 to 24 say student loan debt is a “major” issue for them.

The bill would be funded by eliminating tax breaks on millionaires and is part of what Democrats have called their “Fair Shot Agenda,” an election year slate of proposals.

The Senate Democrats will hold a vote on Warren’s bill, or a version of it, in early June.

Student debt has become a hot political topic. “In April, Student Debt Crisis, a group that advocates for student loan interest rate reform, nominated Rep. John Kline (R-Minn.) for television host Bill Maher’s ‘Flip-A-District’ contest, a campaign Maher launched to find the worst member of Congress and boot him from office,” reports Mother Jones.  The group selected Kline because he proposed increasing student loan interest rates.

And in 2013, GOP senators filibustered student interest rate relief before agreeing to a  compromise bill at the 11th hour. While the legislation prevented interest rates on new federal loans from doubling to 6.8 percent, it didn’t help the 40 million Americans who have existing student loan debt, some of whom have loans with rates of up to 10 percent.

Below is a recent speech that Sen. Warren made on the topic. See what she has to say.

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