Congress looks to begin the unenviable task of dealing with student loans.
There is something distinctly American of the idea that everyone should be able to afford college. Unfortunately so are the massive amounts of debt that come with it.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Democrat-Massachusetts) introduced a piece of legislation this week that allows individuals that are locked in high interest rates by their student loans to refinance at much lower rates. Last year, Sen. Warren proposed similar legislation but was met with resistance from both Democrats and Republicans that felt the law was too unforgiving to those that habitually ducked loan payments. A federal student loans deal was eventually reached which resulted in a new law that reversed a doubling of interest rates, yet progressives like Sen. Warren felt that it didn’t go far enough with solving the student loan problem.
Student loan debt has become a major problem after the 2008 Recession. The combination of high unemployment/underemployment among Millennials and the looming danger of doubling interest rates have made student loans a top priority for Democrats. In an election year, Democrats are hoping to use the student loan issue as a rallying cry to bring the party and its supporters together. As part of their “Fair Shot Agenda”, Democrats want to push this populace agenda along with a raise in the minimum wage and pay check fairness, hoping to bring up stark differences between them and their Republican counterparts.
It is expected that the student loan legislation will get some push back from the GOP due to the fact that revenue for the bill will likely come from changes in the current Tax Code. Whether the bill will get the 60 votes it needs to pass in the Senate is still too early to tell. Sen. Warren’s bill is scheduled to be introduced on the Senate floor come June.