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BREAKING: Brown Votes Against Student Loan Bill

Tuesday, May 08, 2012


Senator Scott Brown voted against a bill that would keep student loans at the current 3.4% interest rate due to a question of funding, following his recently released statement on the issue:
“It’s time to stop playing politics and get to work on a real bipartisan compromise to preserve current student loan rate,” Brown said in a recent press release. “The job market is dismal and the cost of getting a college education is out of control. We should be working together on a solution that prevents these rates from skyrocketing in July.”

Despite this recent comment, Brown voted against the bill Tuesday May 8th – a decision that will affect 161,000 Massachusetts students, forcing them to pay an average of $1,026 more a year.

Brown introduced two bills to help keep the interest rates low. Included in this package is a one-year extension of the 3.4% interest rate for Stafford loans and a proposal to increase the transparency of higher education costs by requiring colleges and universities to post comprehensive tax forms online, detailing budget information such as faculty and administrative salary and benefit packages.

The extension will be paid for by reducing the improper payments made by the federal government, unlike the bill he voted down, which will be subsidized with tax money.

Comments on Brown's Vote

Massachusetts Democratic Party Chair John Walsh released the following statement today after Brown’s vote:

“On the votes that matter, Scott Brown stands with the national Republican Party and Wall Street, not middle-class Massachusetts families,” Walsh said. “Senate Democrats put forth a measure to keep student loan rates low, but Scott Brown joined Senate Republicans to block it today.”

Walsh also cited Brown’s own benefit from student loans and stated that the Senator’s new salary as a “Washington politician” has changed his mind.

“Scott Brown needed help to pay for Tufts and law school at Boston College, just like the thousands of college students in Massachusetts who are struggling to pay tuition and make ends meet today,” he said. “Now that he’s a millionaire Washington politician, it looks like Scott Brown isn’t interested in helping the next generation get a college education.”

Warren's Stance

Like Brown, Senate hopeful Elizabeth Warren has been speaking out about the dangers of raising the student loan interest rate.

“Young people here in Massachusetts and across the country who are working hard and building a future -- and our nation’s future – by investing in their education, should not suddenly face higher interest rates on their student loans,” said Warren. “Scott Brown made it clear today whose side he stands on when he joined his fellow Republicans in the Senate to defeat a bill that would have prevented interest rates on student loans from doubling.”

Warren's background in education has made this topic a hot button issue for her campaign as her supporters.

“It is time for Washington’s priorities to line up with the students and their families who are working hard to build a real future,” she said.

Area college students who would be affected by the increase in student loan interest rates have rallies behind Warren's stance. Students at colleges and universities across the Commonwealth, from Tufts to UMass Amherst, organized informational tabling events, on their campuses to reach young voters in support of Warren's position on student loans.


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