'A Good Day for Billionaires,' a Bad Day for Student Loan Borrowers

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Common Dreams

'A Good Day for Billionaires,' a Bad Day for Student Loan Borrowers

Senate Republicans block Sen. Warren's student loan refinancing legislation

Photo: Light Brigading/cc/flickr

"Today is a really good day for billionaires. For the 40 million people dealing with student loan debt, it wasn't such a good day."

Those comments were made by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) Wednesday after her Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, which would allow those with older student loans to refinance at the current 3.86 percent rate, failed to get the votes needed to move the legislation forward.

With a 56-38 vote, the legislation was four votes short.

The effort would have been paid for by enacting the so-called Buffett rule, which would require millionaires not to pay less than 30 percent of their income in taxes.

Following the vote, Warren said, "This raises the fundamental question: Who does Washington work for? Does it work for those who can afford to hire armies of lobbyists to make sure that every single loophole in the tax code is protected for them? Or does it work for young people who are trying to get started in life?"

"We're not giving up," she added. "After all we did get bipartisan support today, and we still have 40 million Americans out there who are trying to deal with $1.2 trillion in student loan debt."

"Homeowners are refinancing, small businesses are refinancing. We just want young people who got an education to have their shot at refinancing," Warren said.

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