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Senate Republicans block student loan bill

LA CROSSE, Wis. (WEAU) --
The U.S. Senate has failed to pass a bill that would have allowed borrowers to refinance their student loan debt at lower rates.

On Wednesday the Bank of Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act failed with a vote of 56 to 38.

60 votes were needed to pass the bill.

It would have allowed borrowers with federal and private undergraduate loans at high interest rates to refinance at today’s rate of 3.86% without refinancing fees.

The bill would have been paid for with the Buffett Rule, which sets minimum tax rates for people who make more than $1 million.

Senator Tammy Baldwin who co-sponsored the bill says it’s disappointing the bill didn’t pass.

“Our young people, our graduates are strapped with crippling debt that’s affecting their futures and the future of our economy,” said Baldwin.

Baldwin said she wants to discuss the bill again later this year.

Senator Ron Johnson wasn’t available for comment on camera, but issued a statement saying “It would add insult to injury to now ask all hard-working Americans to foot the bill. That is exactly what this latest political exercise is designed to do.”

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WASHINGTON (AP) --Senate Republicans have blocked an election-year attempt by Democrats to let people refinance their student loan debt at lower rates.

The 56-38 vote Wednesday fell short of the 60 votes needed to proceed to debate on the measure.

The bill by Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts would have allowed people with student loans to refinance the debt at today's lower rates. The Obama administration said it could have helped some 25 million borrowers save $2,000 each.

Republicans said the bill wouldn't have done anything to lower education costs or reduce borrowing. They accused Democrats of looking for a political issue and raising taxes.

The bill would have been paid for with the so-called Buffett Rule, which sets minimum tax rates for people making over $1 million.


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