Students as Important as Big Banks, Elizabeth Warren Says in Bill Introduction
Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., proposed her first piece of stand-alone legislation Wednesday, the Bank on Students Loan Fairness Act. The bill is aimed at giving students who take out federally subsidized loans the same interest rate the big banks get when they borrow from the government.
Currently, student loan interest rates are 3.4 percent, but they are set to double July 1 to 6.8 percent unless Congress takes action. Meantime, the big banks responsible for plunging the economy into a recession a few short years ago pay just 0.75 percent.
“The federal government is going to charge students interest rates that are nine times higher than the rates for the biggest banks — the same banks that destroyed millions of jobs and nearly broke this economy,” Warren said on the Senate floor in introducing the measure. “That isn’t right.”
She continued, “It doesn’t reflect our values. We shouldn’t be profiting from our students who are drowning in debt while we’re giving great deals to big banks. We should be investing in our young people so they can get good jobs and grow this economy, so let’s give them the same great deal the banks get.”
According to Warren, college graduates in this country collectively carry more than $1 trillion in debt. To put that figure in perspective, that’s even more than the entire combined outstanding credit card debt in the U.S.
“Unlike the big banks, students don’t have armies of lobbyists and lawyers,” she concluded. “They have only their voices. And they call on us to do what is right.”
— Posted by Tracy Bloom.