“Democrats need to finally allow the bipartisan student loan reform proposal to come to a vote this week, so we can pass it and ensure there’s one less Washington-created problem for young people to worry about in this economy,” McConnell said on the Senate floor. “Because it’s tough enough out there for them already. The Obama Economy has not been kind to the youth of our nation.”

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On July 1, need-based student loan rates doubled from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. Senate Democrats tried to pass a bill that would have extended the 3.4 percent rate for one year but failed to overcome a Republican filibuster requiring 60 votes to advance the legislation.

The bipartisan deal would be a permanent solution and base loan rates on the 10-year Treasury note, plus 2.05 percent to cover administrative costs. The bill also caps undergraduate loan rates at 8.25 percent. The House passed a similar bill last month.

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersSanders: 'If you don't have the guts to face your constituents,' you shouldn't be in Congress President Trump, immigrants are not 'bad dudes' Why the GOP cannot sweep its Milo scandal under the rug MORE (I-Vt.) said he’d oppose the bipartisan bill — which has the support of senior Democratic Sens. Dick DurbinDick DurbinDems rip Trump administration for revoking Obama's transgender directive A guide to the committees: Senate McConnell: I’m very sympathetic to 'Dreamers' MORE (Ill.) and Tom HarkinTom HarkinGrassley challenger no stranger to defying odds Clinton ally stands between Sanders and chairmanship dream Do candidates care about our health or just how much it costs? MORE (Iowa).

“Our job is to improve the dismal situation in terms of college affordability and indebtedness … to make it better not to make it worse, which is exactly what this piece of legislation would do,” Sanders said on the Senate floor after McConnell's speech. “Our government is selling out the young people of our country.”

Some Democrats, such as Sanders and Sens. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenDeVos: 'My job isn’t to win a popularity contest with the media' Protesters crash McConnell's speech DNC candidate Harrison drops out, backs Perez for chairman MORE (D-Mass.) and 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.) have argued that the bipartisan bill would harm future college students because, if market based interest rates increase — as expected over the next few years — student loans could exceed 6.8 percent.

Sanders said he would introduce an amendment that would sunset the bill after two years — before the interest rates are expected to exceed 6 percent.