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Overshadowed by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's primary defeat, Senate Republicans continued being Senate Republicans on Wednesday morning and filibustered Sen. Elizabeth Warren's student loan refinancing bill. The bill, which would allow current students to borrow from the government at a low interest rate and allow past students to refinance their debt down to that lower rate, was blocked with 56 votes in favor and 38 against.
Warren's bill would have been paid for by implementing the Buffett Rule, taxing millionaires at a minimum 30 percent rate. Of course Republicans object to taxing millionaires, but then, they would also object to lowering student loan interest rates without offsetting the costs. It's just that the offsets have to hurt lower-income people, not millionaires, to get Republican approval. According to the Obama administration, Warren's plan would have saved 25 million people $2,000 each.
In the wake of the filibuster, Warren urged supporters to continue pressing the issue:
At this point, most Republicans want us to quiet down and fade away. They don't want us to point out that this morning, most Republicans said it was more important to protect the tax loopholes for billionaires than to cut the rates on student loans.
I think it is time to come back louder than ever. I think it is time to show up at campaign events and town halls and ask every single Republican who voted against this bill why protecting billionaires is more important than giving our kids a chance to pay off their loans. I think we need to ask, and ask again, and ask again.
What Elizabeth Warren said. Let's be crystal clear that Republicans are placing low taxes for millionaires and billionaires over affordable interest rates on the loans the children of working families need to be able to attend college. That's what Republicans stand for. And anyone who has student debt or has a kid who's going to need loans to go to college should not only press their senators now, they should remember this vote in November.
Originally posted to Laura Clawson on Thu Jun 12, 2014 at 08:04 AM PDT.