Warren said she supports the Keep Student Loans Affordable Act would extend the 3.4 percent rate for need-based loans for one year and would be paid for by ending a tax break on tax-deferred retirement accounts. That bill, S. 1238, is expected to get a vote in the Senate later this week.
“Congress can ease the burden on our students and we should be committed to doing just that,” Warren said. “This is how we build a better future for our entire country.”
But Republicans and a couple Democrats have argued that a permanent solution would be better than a short-term rate extension.
Sens. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinDem 2020 hopefuls lead pack in opposing Trump Cabinet picks Manchin: Sanders backers should challenge me in Dem primary Greens launch ads against two GOP senators for Pruitt votes MORE (D-W.Va.), Richard BurrRichard BurrSpicer arranged calls between officials, reporters to push back on Russia stories: report Top Senate Dem: ‘Grave concerns’ about independence of Russia probe Trump's pick for intel chief to get hearing next week MORE (R-N.C.), Tom CoburnTom CoburnCoburn: Trump's tweets aren't presidential The road ahead for America’s highways Rethinking taxation MORE (R-Okla.), Lamar AlexanderLamar AlexanderGOP governors confront Medicaid divide A guide to the committees: Senate Overnight Healthcare: Trump officials weigh fate of birth control mandate | House, DOJ seek delay in ObamaCare lawsuit MORE (R-Tenn.), Angus KingAngus KingSenators ask feds for ‘full account’ of work to secure election from cyber threats A guide to the committees: Senate Hopes rise for law to expand access to experimental drugs MORE (I-Maine) and Tom CarperTom CarperA guide to the committees: Senate Senate advances Trump's Commerce pick Warren: Trump's EPA pick the 'attorney general for Exxon' MORE (D-Del.) introduced a bipartisan bill similar to something House Republicans passed last month. The Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act, S. 1241, requires that, for each academic year, all newly issued student loans be set to the U.S. Treasury 10-year borrowing rate plus 1.85 percent for undergraduate loans. The interest rate is capped at a consolidated rate of 8.25 percent.
Warren said that bill increases federal profits from student loans at the expense of struggling college students and middle class families.
“The government is making obscene profits on these loans,” Warren said. “This is just plain wrong.”
Warren argued that a one-year fix was necessary for lawmakers to have enough time to address the drivers of increased tuition costs and existing student loan debt in the reauthorization of the Higher Education Act.
It’s unclear if Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidSanders and Schumer are right: Ellison for DNC chair The Hill's 12:30 Report Hopes rise for law to expand access to experimental drugs MORE (D-Nev.) will allow a vote on the bipartisan bill, but a vote on the motion to proceed to the Democratic bill introduced by Sen. Jack ReedJack ReedA guide to the committees: Senate Cruz: Supreme Court 'likely' to uphold Trump order Schumer: Trump should see 'handwriting on the wall,' drop order MORE (D-R.I.) could be as soon as Wednesday.
Last month, the Senate attempted to pass similar legislation that would have extended the 3.4 percent rate for two years but there wasn’t enough support to overcome the Republican filibuster requiring 60-votes to advance the bill.