House and Senate Republicans Block Passage of Bill Allowing Refinancing of Student Loans

House and Senate Republicans Block Passage of Bill Allowing Refinancing of Student Loans

For the millions of Americans encumbered with college debt, relief was snatched away this week when Capitol Hill Republicans blocked measures that would have allowed borrowers to refinance their loans.House and Senate Republicans on June 11 stymied progress of the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, which would have allowed borrowers with college loans issued prior to 2010 to refinance at 3.86 percent—the rate established by Congress last year.

The White House, which supported the legislation, said the bill could have allowed an estimated 25 million student loan borrowers to save an average of $2,000 over the life of their loans. The measure would have been paid for by enforcing the Buffet rule—closing tax loopholes for the very rich.

“This should be a no-brainer,” President Obama said June 9 during a press conference to announce executive actions to make college more affordable. “It would be scandalous if we allowed those kinds of tax loopholes for the very, very fortunate to survive while students are having trouble just getting started in their lives.”

Sponsors of the bill said they had received bipartisan support, but Republicans seemed to balk at the means of finance.

“Today is a really good day for billionaires,” Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), one of the sponsors of the bill, said at a press conference after the vote. “For the more than 40 million people dealing with student loan debt it wasn’t such a good day.”

“The Republicans have said they don’t like how it being paid for—closing tax loopholes on millionaires and billionaires,” she added. “If they have an alternative plan then bring it forward. That’s what we’ve asked for.”

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Source: |  Zenitha Prince

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