Student Loan Bill Dies In Senate, Will Not Advance To Debate

By Kayla Moody

Published 06/11 2014 07:49PM

Updated 06/11 2014 09:19PM

Senate Republicans vote down a bill aiming to let people refinance their student loans at lower rates. The 56 to 38 vote fell short of the 60 votes needed to move the bill to debate.

Democrats argue the bill could have helped millions of borrowers save thousands. Republicans suggest the proposed bill wouldn't have done anything to lower education costs or reduce borrowing. They're accusing Democrats of trying to pass a bill that never stood a chance in order to have a new issue to campaign on.

Meanwhile some local graduates are crying foul, saying it at least deserved a dialog.

"I think it very well could be a ploy for the democratic party but at the same time it's definitely an issue worth talking about. This is only going to get worse and it's not going to get better unless someone addresses the issue," says Chiara Schum, a graduate of the University of Southern Indiana. "There are plenty of students getting out of school struggling to make payments on their student loans and I think this is an issue that's only going to keep growing especially if they keep ignoring it like this."

According to legislators, more than 40 million Americans have outstanding student loan debt totaling $1.2 trillion. It's the second largest form of consumer debt. Mortgage debt ranks first.

"It's kinda infuriating and it just makes you feel kinda helpless," says USI graduate Hannah Birkla. "But what are you gonna do? Pay back student loans."

The Obama administration suggests the bill could have helped around 25 million borrowers save $2,000 each over the lifetime of their loans. It would have allowed people with older loans at higher interest rates, some topping 7-percent or more, to refinance to rates below 4-percent.

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