Republicans Block Student Loan Bill

The Senate on Wednesday failed to stop a Republican filibuster of a bill to restore lower interest rates on student loans. The vote was 51-49, nine short of the 60 votes needed to end debate. Sen. Bernie Sanders favored restoring interest rates on subsidized Stafford loans to 3.4 percent for another year. “Now we’ve got to go back to the drawing board,” he told radio host Joel Heitkamp minutes after the vote.  Interest rates for new loans doubled on July 1, but most loans are taken out later in the summer before the fall term begins on college campuses.

Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) issued the following statement today after a filibuster by Senate Republicans blocked consideration of a bill to restore student loan interest rates that doubled on July 1:

“I have heard from more than 700 Vermonters and people around the country that college costs too much and interest rates on student loans are too high.  That is the clear message coming from students, graduates and parents struggling to repay crushing loans to cover unaffordable college costs.  Plans for careers and families have been put on hold. The economy is being hurt. But Senate Republicans today blocked the same simple, straightforward solution that Congress approved just last year. While today’s vote was disappointing, we must continue working to find a short-term solution to keep interest rates down while developing a long-term solution to make college more affordable for working families.” 

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Senate Vote