“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.”
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 SandersAnti-trade senators say chamber would be crazy to pass TPP Vulnerable NH Republican ties reelection bid to Trump Overnight Finance: Congress poised to avoid shutdown | Yellen defends Fed from Trump | Why Obama needs PhRMA on trade MORE (I-Vt.) said he’d oppose the bipartisan bill — which has the support of senior Democratic Sens. Dick DurbinDick DurbinDems gain upper hand on budget McConnell: Senate could drop flood money from spending bill Funding bill rejected as shutdown nears 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 WarrenOvernight Finance: Lawmakers call for criminal charges for Wells Fargo chief | Ryan sees recession without tax reform | Aide defends Trump Cuba deals Anti-trade senators say chamber would be crazy to pass TPP Elizabeth Warren becomes a verb in scrutiny of Wells Fargo MORE (D-Mass.) and Jack ReedJack ReedDemocrats press Wells Fargo CEO for more answers on scandal Senators already eyeing changes to 9/11 bill after veto override Overnight Finance: McConnell offers 'clean' funding bill | Dems pan proposal | Flint aid, internet measure not included | More heat for Wells Fargo | New concerns on investor visas 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.