Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinSenate GOP braces for impeachment trial 'roller coaster' Trump judicial nominee delayed amid GOP pushback Schumer seeks focus on health care amid impeachment fever MORE (D-Ill.) called on Republicans to allow a vote on a bill that would allow the refinancing of student loan debt.

“We cannot afford to stand by and do nothing while America’s next generation is sentenced to debt,” Durbin said Wednesday.

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Durbin called for the passage of Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth Ann WarrenHillicon Valley: GOP lawmakers offer election security measure | FTC Dem worries government is 'captured' by Big Tech | Lawmakers condemn Apple over Hong Kong censorship Sanders seeks spark from Ocasio-Cortez at Queens rally On The Money: Supreme Court takes up challenge to CFPB | Warren's surge brings scrutiny to wealth tax | Senators eye curbs on Trump emergency powers MORE’s (D-Mass.) Bank on Student Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, which Republicans blocked earlier this year.

“The bill, which I co-sponsored earlier this year, would help ease that burden by allowing students to lower their interest rates,” Durbin said. “I hope some of my Republican colleagues will reconsider and vote to move forward on legislation that will give struggling students and families a fair shot at a higher education without a mountain of debt.”

Durbin said 40 million borrowers are being crushed by the combined $1.2 trillion owed in student loan debt. The average college graduate owes nearly $30,000 after getting his or her degree.  

“They do the right thing: they go to school to get ahead but end up with so much debt that it becomes impossible for them to ever pay it back, let alone get ahead,” Durbin said.