GOP blocks Warren’s student loan bill

Senate Republicans blocked Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenWATCH LIVE: Warren campaigns for Clinton in NH Fifteen years since pivotal executive order, STORM Act could help fight terror finance Wells Fargo scandal should be major campaign issue MORE (D-Mass.) from bringing up her bill to allow students to refinance their loans.

Warren asked for unanimous consent to vote on her bill, S. 2432, but Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) objected unless there would be an open amendment process. Warren said she couldn't agree to unlimited amendments.

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“Millions of young people are just stuck,” Warren said. “They can’t buy homes, they can’t buy cars … all because they are struggling under the weight of student loan debt.”

Her bill is part of Democrats’ “Fair Shot” agenda designed to highlight the differences between the political parties ahead of the midterm election. 

Democrats argue that the $1.2 trillion in student debt in the United States is harming economic growth.

“Student debt is holding Americans back — it’s holding our economy back,” said Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), who is up for reelection in November.

Republicans blocked the bill earlier this year. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) had wanted to hold a second vote on the measure, but lawmakers are running out of time to legislate before leaving to campaign for the midterm elections.

By the end of the week, both chambers need to pass a stopgap spending measure to ensure the government is funded past the election. The House is expected to pass a continued spending resolution (CR) on Wednesday and then the Senate will take up the measure.

The Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, would allow more than 25 million people to refinance their student loans to today’s lower interest rates of less than 4 percent. Warren paid for the bill with the “Buffet Rule” — a minimum 30 percent income tax payment from people who earn between $1 million and $2 million.

Republicans oppose the bill because it would raise taxes on the wealthy. They also accused Democrats of trying to force political show votes ahead of the November election.

“The Hard Left is clearly in the driver’s seat on the other side. That’s clear every time the Democrat Majority ignores the concerns of our constituents to turn to yet another one of their so-called ‘messaging bills,’” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said on Tuesday. “And it’s a shame.”