fresh voices from the front lines of change







Senate Republicans today sided with 22,000 millionaires over 40 million Americans with student debt by blocking the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act.

The 56-38 vote fell shy of the 60 needed to prevent the bill, sponsored by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), from being filibustered. The bill would have allowed existing student loan borrowers the chance to refinance their debt at today’s lower interest rates and would be fully paid for by enacting the "Buffet rule," which ensures billionaires and millionaires pay their fair share of taxes.

Refinancing student loans is common sense. Homeowners, businesses, and even local governments are able to refinance their debts, yet graduates are being penalized for simply getting an education and a fighting chance at entering the middle class. There is no economic argument against the bill, either. Refinancing would help stimulate the economy by putting $62.9 billion back into the pockets of the millions struggling with student debt who need it the most.

"With this vote we show the American people who we work for in the United States Senate: billionaires or students," said Warren. "A vote on this legislation is a vote to give millions of young people a fair shot at building their future."

Warren is right: Time after time Republicans have shown they stand for Wall Street over Main Street. The only justification Republicans could offer for their vote to filibuster was that the bill was a Democratic ploy.

"The Senate Democrats' bill isn't really about students at all. It's really all about Senate Democrats," said Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky). "They want an issue to campaign on to save their own hides this November."

The truth is this happens to affect Republicans and Democrats alike. Warren's legislative remedy is supported by the majority of Americans, is economically advantageous and helps millions of struggling families.

Sen. McConnell continues to obstruct democracy in the name of special interests. Today these 37 senators joined him:

Lamar Alexander (Tenn.)
Saxby Chambliss (Ga.)
John Cornyn (Texas)
Michael Crapo (Idaho)
Michael Enzi (Wyo.)
Charles Grassley (Iowa)
Orrin Hatch (Utah)
James Inhofe (Okla.)
John McCain (Ariz.)
Mitch McConnell (Ky.)
Pat Roberts (Kan.)
Jefferson Sessions (Ala.)
Richard Shelby (Ala.)
Roy Blunt (Mo.)
John Boozman (Ark.)
Richard Burr (N.C.)
Jeff Flake (Ariz.)
John Isakson (Ga.)
Mark Kirk (Ill.)
Robert Portman (Ohio)
Patrick Toomey (Pa.)
David Vitter (La.)
Roger Wicker (Miss.)
John Thune (S.D.)
Thomas Coburn (Okla.)
Daniel Coats (Ind.)
Dean Heller (Nev.)
John Barrasso (Wyo.)
Mike Johanns (Neb.)
James Risch (Ind.)
Marco Rubio (Fla.)
Rand Paul (Ky.)
John Hoeven (N.D.)
Mike Lee (Utah)
Ron Johnson (Wis.)
Deb Fischer (Neb.)
Ted Cruz (Texas)

In the end, only three Republican senators stood with Democrats and the 40 million Americans plagued with student loan debt: Susan Collins of Maine, Bob Corker of Tennessee and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska. They deserve special thanks for knowing the difference between right and wrong, not left vs. right.

Today’s vote was about students, workers, seniors and all those affected by a student debt crisis that doesn’t discriminate based on party affiliation.

Find out how much these senators just cost you by using the student loan refinance calculator.

Note: Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) voted "no" so that make the motion to reconsider the vote, one must be on the prevailing side of a vote.

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