Target: Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell
Goal: Encourage bipartisan support for new bill that helps college students and graduates pay down their student loan debt
In the United States, there are nearly 40 million people with outstanding student loan debt. The average student loan burden among undergraduate borrowers is nearly $30,000, and total student loan debt in the U.S. is over one trillion dollars. This is not only a burden on working families and those trying to better themselves, it is a serious drag on the economy, as money that could be spent buying homes or cars, starting families or small businesses, or saving for retirement goes instead into government coffers.
Last summer, a student loan bill that lowered the interest rate for all new borrowers passed congress with strong bipartisan support. Recently, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren introduced a new bill to the Senate floor that will allow those with outstanding student loan debt to refinance at the same rate. While the bill was co-sponsored by 23 Democratic Senators, not a single Republican has put their name to it so far.
Under the Bank on Students Act, reduced government profits would be made up for by implementing the “Buffett Rule,” which closes certain tax loopholes that allow the wealthiest Americans to reduce their tax payments to almost zero. Republicans have opposed this suggestion in the past, and are threatening to do so again.
Those who have benefited from the old bill will pay interest rates of 3.86 percent, while borrowers with outstanding loans sometimes pay interest rates of over 7 percent—a difference of hundreds or thousands of dollars a year. Ask Congress to pass the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, and put money back in the pockets of hard-working students and graduates.
Dear Senator McConnell,
While last year’s Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act will undoubtedly help new students access college education, it does nothing to help the nearly 40 million Americans who have outstanding student loan debt. Senator Warren’s new bill addresses this disparity by giving these borrowers access to the same reduced interest rates. These savings will ease the debt burden on students and families and stimulate the economy by putting more money in the pockets of consumers.
Opposing this bill on grounds of keeping taxes for the wealthy low is equivalent to subsidizing the lavish lifestyles of the one percent by taxing average Americans who are trying to educate themselves. This behavior is unconscionable and anti-democratic, and I hope you will see past partisan bickering and support hard-working college students and graduates.
[Your Name Here]
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