Democratic U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren joined candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes on Sunday to promote a plan to relieve student loan debt.
Warren has been canvassing the country following a failed vote in the U.S. Senate that would have allowed some people to refinance their student loan debt to take advantage of lower interest rates. But Republicans, led by Sen. Mitch McConnell, blocked the bill because it would have raised taxes on wealthy Americans to pay for it.
Grimes and Warren criticized McConnell for siding with millionaires instead of students. McConnell has said the bill was about politics and never about students. He voted for a 2013 bipartisan compromise on lowering student loan interest rates. Warren opposed that bill.
Kentucky’s Democratic U.S. Senate candidate is hoping to capitalize on the recent defeat of a bill addressing student loan debt.
The Senator who sponsored the measure is coming to Kentucky to back the campaign of Alison Lundergan Grimes.
The Grimes campaign announced Thursday that Massachusetts Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren will join Grimes for multiple events in the commonwealth this month. Warren championed a measure that failed in the Senate this week that would have allowed borrowers to refinance federal and private student loans at lower interest rates.
That bill would have raised taxes on the country’s wealthiest earners to cover the costs. The Democratic-backed measure Wednesday failed to gain the 60 Senate votes necessary to move forward.
Kentucky Republican Mitch McConnell was one of 38 “no” votes.
The Grimes campaign says Warren’s visit to the Bluegrass State will help highlight how many college graduates are suffering under the burden of high amounts of student loan debt.
McConnell says the Warren bill didn’t do anything to address the rising costs of college or the amount of money students have to borrow to pay for their education.
The president of WKU is on the list of speakers at a forum on rising student debt being held by the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis.
WKU President Gary Ransdell is in Missouri Monday for the event titled “Generation Debt: The Promise, Perils, and Future of Student Loans”.
According to a report from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis, the average student debt per follower grew from $16,000 in 2005, to $25,000 in 2012. The College Board found that an estimated 66 percent of seniors graduating in 2011 had student loan debt.
Economic and education analysts are increasingly worried that the growing debts faced by college graduates will impair the upward mobility of young Americans.
Monday’s forum on student debt is being webcast live from St. Louis, beginning at 12:30 pm central. You can see that webcast here.