“This Is Morally Wrong”: Watch Elizabeth Warren on GOP and Student Loans

On Thursday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren slammed Republicans for blocking a bill that would give Americans relief on their student loan debt.

Student loan interest rates are set to double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent on July 1 unless Congress acts. Warren has introduced a short-term plan that would drop rates on federal loans for needy students to near zero for a year, and Sens. Jack Reed (D-RI), and Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) have co-sponsored a bill that would freeze interest rates at 3.4 percent for two years. But the GOP has other ideas. Yesterday, Senate Republicans blocked passage of Reed and Harkin’s bill, arguing instead for plans that Republicans in both chambers have introduced that would increase interest rates on student loans.

Warren suggested the GOP was morally bankrupt for blocking the student loan proposals. Here is part of her speech:

There are strong proposals on the table that would keep interest rates low while Congress has time to work out a permanent solution. And yet, Congress fails to act. Why? Two issues: money and values.

First, money. Some have argued that we can’t afford to keep interest rates low. But let’s be clear: Right now the federal government is making a profit from our students. Just last month, the Congressional Budget Office calculated that the government will make $51 billion this year off student loans…

[Yet] two weeks ago, House Republicans passed a plan that would produce higher profits off the backs of our college students. And here in the Senate, Senator Coburn has introduced a similar bill that makes student loans more profitable…

The second issue is values….Have we become a people who will support our big banks with nearly free loans, while we crush our kids who are trying to get an education?…This is morally wrong, and we must put a stop to it.

DOES IT FEEL LIKE POLITICS IS AT A BREAKING POINT?

Headshot of Editor in Chief of Mother Jones, Clara Jeffery

It sure feels that way to me, and here at Mother Jones, we’ve been thinking a lot about what journalism needs to do differently, and how we can have the biggest impact.

We kept coming back to one word: corruption. Democracy and the rule of law being undermined by those with wealth and power for their own gain. So we're launching an ambitious Mother Jones Corruption Project to do deep, time-intensive reporting on systemic corruption, and asking the MoJo community to help crowdfund it.

We aim to hire, build a team, and give them the time and space needed to understand how we got here and how we might get out. We want to dig into the forces and decisions that have allowed massive conflicts of interest, influence peddling, and win-at-all-costs politics to flourish.

It's unlike anything we've done, and we have seed funding to get started, but we're looking to raise $500,000 from readers by July when we'll be making key budgeting decisions—and the more resources we have by then, the deeper we can dig. If our plan sounds good to you, please help kickstart it with a tax-deductible donation today.

Thanks for reading—whether or not you can pitch in today, or ever, I'm glad you're with us.

Signed by Clara Jeffery

Clara Jeffery, Editor-in-Chief

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

Share your feedback: We’re planning to launch a new version of the comments section. Help us test it.