Wicker: Students Deserve More Than Partisan Overtures

Miss. Senator Calls Senate Democrats’ Student Loan Bill a ‘Gimmick’

June 11, 2014

WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Roger Wicker (R-Miss.) today voted against an election-year stunt orchestrated by Senate Democrats to provide a $1-a-day subsidy for existing student loans while raising taxes to the tune of $72.5 billion. The “Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act,” S. 2432, sponsored by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., failed to garner the requisite 60 votes in the Senate in order to proceed.

“This bill does nothing to make college more affordable or provide more access to higher education for students,” Wicker said. “One recent report shows that the unemployment rate for Americans aged 18-29 is nearly 16 percent – a stark reminder that millennials continue to struggle under the Obama economy.

“Students deserve more than a gimmicky partisan overture that drastically raises taxes and does not address the looming student loan bubble created by the Democratic-led government takeover of the industry. I urge my Democratic colleagues to work with us to develop practical reforms to educational opportunities and create an economic recovery where no one is left behind.”

In July 2013, Wicker voted for the “Student Loan Act.” That bill retroactively lowered student loan interest rates for all loans taken out since July 1, 2013, and set future loan rates to market-based prices. The legislation, which was signed into law by President Obama, also fixed interest rates over the life of the loan and imposed a cap to ensure interest rates never exceed 8.25 percent for undergraduate students, 9.5 percent for graduate students, and 10.5 percent for PLUS borrowers.