Brown, Warren spar over student loan deal

ADVERTISEMENT
"Fortunately, a bipartisan compromise was reached yesterday extending the current 3.4% rate for another year and preventing the rates from increasing. I hope that you will join me in supporting this bipartisan compromise," Brown wrote.

I recognize the agreement does not raise billions in new taxes on small family-owned businesses, which was clearly your stated preference. Instead of increasing taxes on small businesses, the compromise makes changes to pension law that will save money for the federal government and also help to improve our economy."

Warren, unsurprisingly, had a different interpretation of her proposed tax increases in a statement issued shortly thereafter heralding the compromise.

“I am glad Republicans in Congress finally agreed with Democrats that it was time to act to keep student loan interest rates from doubling. But in the last few months, the national Republicans have shown that they are willing to go to the mat to protect tax breaks for big oil companies and for billionaires while at the same time dragging their feet until the eleventh hour when college students’ futures are at stake," Warren said. "They held hostage the well-being of young people all across this country in order to keep their extremist pledges not to close tax loopholes. I think that’s wrong.”

And a Warren spokeswoman said it was unfair for Brown to insinuate the Harvard professor was unwilling to compromise when she had issued a call for Brown to sign off on "reasonable legislation" earlier in the week.

"His letter today comes after she had already urged him to accept compromise.  His letter was not only too late, it was off base," said Julie Edwards, a spokeswoman for Warren.

Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Tuesday night he was confident the bill, which would prevent interest rates on student loans doubling from 3.4 to 6.8 percent, was "worked out," although the Senate has still not decided whether it will attempt to tie the subsidy to the transportation bill also being debated.