Sen. Dick DurbinRichard (Dick) Joseph DurbinSunday Talk Shows: Lawmakers look ahead to House vote on articles of impeachment, Senate trial Lawmakers introduce bill taxing e-cigarettes to pay for anti-vaping campaigns Senators zero in on shadowy court at center of IG report 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 WarrenTrump executive order aimed at combating anti-Semitism stirs up controversy Booker leads other 2020 Dems in petition urging DNC to change debate qualifications Democrats threaten to skip next debate over labor dispute 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.