NewsRadio 920 WHJJ and The Associated Press
PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse says the failure of a bill that would have let people refinance their student loans at lower rates was a major setback for the millions of students and graduates burdened by overwhelming levels of debt.
Senate Republicans on Wednesday blocked the legislation. The bill would have been paid for with Whitehouse's Buffett Rule legislation, which sets minimum tax rates for people making over $1 million.
Whitehouse, a Rhode Island Democrat, said Republicans "care more about preserving tax cuts for billionaires than they do about helping struggling student loan borrowers." He said he would try to lower payments for these borrowers, including an estimated 88,000 Rhode Island residents.
Republicans said the bill would not have lowered education costs or reduced borrowing. They accused Democrats of playing politics.