Senate Republicans block student loan bill

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  • TRUTH Salt Lake City, UT
    June 13, 2014 4:01 p.m.

    So first, the Unions get a Obama Gov't bailout and the students protest........

    Now the students protest because they didn't get a Gov't Bailout like the crooked Unions?

    If you don't like student loans, don't go in debt for one.....

    Your money paid educators who educated you!.....if you don't like the results, ask for a refund from the school, not the taxpayers you promised to repay?

  • Howard Beal Provo, UT
    June 12, 2014 8:23 p.m.

    When people start going bankrupt (and I know student loan debt is not bankruptable per se but a lot of other debt is) because they are buried by their loans, then yes, we as taxpayers will really pay the price. It will be a bigger bubble than the real estate thing that hit in 2008. So again, not sure who exactly loses if the rates are reduced. There is still a rate of interest being paid.

    As for the comment on charter schools, they haven't proved time and again they are any better than traditional public schools. Some are good, some are worse and they certainly haven't been around long enough to revolutionize education (in either direction). I would suggest we do what they do in Finland and truly invest in their public schools by paying teachers well and reducing class size. Maybe we should give that a try because this approach actually does have "proven" results.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    June 12, 2014 3:34 p.m.

    congratulations on getting your degree and improving your family's income.

    I'm sure it took a lot of hard work and dedication. good for you

    I did not say we should cut off student lending. I admit it is a complicated situation, but do not think letting someone who HAS received the benefit get away with his obligations is right. Perhaps lending only for certain types of degrees is the answer???? no loans for psych or sociology, pop-culture, etc.???

    I think it stretch to imply that if we do not reduce student loan rates on existing debt (new debt already HAS low rates), or lack of college definitely leads to jail or welfare.

    private lenders can no longer make guaranteed loans, so the comment about the cost of guaranteeing loans is moot. The government now makes the loans, and the cost to the taxpayer of defaults is too high. The student already has the degree, so again, you assertion is slightly off.

    The now-graduate should be able to repay the taxpayer. By reducing the rate, or forgiving the debt (as BO is wont to do), the taxpayer, you and I, is being cheated.

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    June 12, 2014 1:59 p.m.

    @lost in DC

    I absolutely agree that student loans have pushed the equation way out of balance. The heart of the problem is how to make education more accessible with keeping the costs reasonable.

    In the mean time, it seems heartless to prevent the disadvantaged from going to school to better themselves while we wait for supply and demand to fix the market. I took out student loans, got a degree in Computer Science and received a 50% pay increase as a result within a month of graduation. Coincidence? No. Now I am better able to provide for my family and ensure my kids have a better chance at success. I am the first and only college graduate in my family. Without that help, I could not have gone to school.

    If we complain about the cost of the taxpayer in guaranteeing the loan, we cannot complain about the cost of incarceration and welfare. The leading indicator of poverty is education. Poverty breeds crime, and not too many with jobs in access of 100k a year are on food stamps. We can either pay and help people be productive, or we can pay to keep them down. Which sounds more reasonable?

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    June 12, 2014 11:28 a.m.

    Scredriver, bluedevil, Esquire
    Why not student loans?
    Because they are unsecured, the lender (taxpayer) has no collateral when they default. Higher risk requires higher rates.

    Johnny Moser,
    What do we lose? The TAXPAYER loses the revenue from the lowered rates.

    Thank you for telling college students the price of their votes. Thanks for insulting them by letting them know they can be bought for 2 grand each.

    Nice straw argument. What tax breaks are the GOP pushing for related ot this. None. Is your argument so weak you resort to a straw argument?

    You should learn about filibusters. They require votes. Votes have been held on everything harry allows; perhaps the votes have been cloture votes, but they have been held. The only votes not held are on position harry opposes.

    We are paying more for less. If fewer students go, the laws of supply and demand kick in, and costs drop. Student loans have pushed the equation way out of balance.

  • Brio Alpine, UT
    June 12, 2014 10:57 a.m.


    To say funding is a non-issue is simply not true. It's always an issue. To believe otherwise is being totally naive regarding the economics of any major bill. That's something Democrats are counting on. You've apparently fallen for it.

    Why would I tell you top earners are under-taxed when just the opposite appears to be true? You're totally right that no one really believes they are actually under-taxed. If anything, they are now over-taxed.

    According to the Tax Foundation of America:
    The top 1% is already paying 37.4% of all taxes.
    The top 5% is already paying 59.1% of all taxes.
    The top 10% is already paying 71% of all taxes.

    The bottom 50% of people pay just 2.4% of taxes in America.

    In 1986 the top tax rate was 28%. But by continually adding another 1% at a time, as you're advocating, that rate has grown to 40%. That's the primary reason businesses are relocating overseas. Over 6 million manufacturing jobs have been lost since Obama took office.

    I'm not in the 1%, but would like to be. Who wouldn't? I did major in economics.

  • Cachebah Providence, UT
    June 12, 2014 10:35 a.m.

    We tell kids they will amount to nothing unless they go to college. Yet less than 20% of the jobs require a college degree.
    So many students never put that college degree to work, yet are in debt up to their eyeballs,

    I do have an email from Utah Workforce Services stating that only 15.3% of jobs require a 4-year degree. Its all a scam to prop up the education establishment.

    BTW, a few months ago didn't this same issue come up? Obama declared (!) that rates would be lowered?
    This is just another political stunt to make the other side look bad. The left is all about politics, not helping kids.

  • Brio Alpine, UT
    June 12, 2014 10:19 a.m.

    @ Darrel:

    Please do additional research regarding the topic you chose to write about. America has already lost it's leading position in education relative to the rest of the world. And it isn't at the college level. It's all the way from the K-12 years.

    America isn't even in the top 20 anymore in preparing students for college. Especially regarding the basics of math, science and reading.

    It then becomes little wonder that students don't better understand the terms of things like personal student loan contracts they commit to later on.

    One of the primary reasons students are doing so poorly in pre-college education is that Democrats are opposed to allowing school vouchers... since big Teacher Unions are so adamantly opposed to them. Those teacher unions supported Obama's campaign. So Obama is beholding to them.

    Vouchers allow students stuck in terrible public schools the choice of going to much better charter schools. Those schools have been proven time and time again to prepare students at a much higher level for college.

    An article earlier this week explained it's almost impossible to fire terrible public school teachers.

    Please do more research before writing.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    June 12, 2014 10:07 a.m.

    @ Brio, funding is a non issue. And please don't tell me the top earners are undertaxed. No one really believes that. It's about our priorities. Did you know that what we have been spending annually in Afghanistan and Iraq would pay for every tuition bill for students in America? Yeah, it's priorities, and the GOP has theirs, and it ain't the middle class (or lower). If you raise the taxes of rich Americans by even 1% to cover such investments, there will be no disincentives on investment and productivity. In fact, the opposite is true. So, are you one of the 1%, or simply a conservative who fights for them even though you aren't in the club? This is a serious question.

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    June 12, 2014 10:03 a.m.

    By the numbers. 56-38. That means 4 senators did not vote. There are, if you count the two "independents" that always vote with the democrats, 55 senators that vote democrat. There are 45 Republican Senators. That means if all 38 were democrats that voted to bring this issue up to a vote, up to 17 of them didn't vote for their own bill. I don't see why this is a Republican problem. If the Democrats can't get 5 Republicans to vote for their bill, it must be a bad bill. Otherwise, some of the RINO Republicans would have voted for it.

    I paid my own student loans off. My interest rate was in the double digits. IT was hard, but I did it. I don't feel at all bad for students who get these loans, some live the high life, and pay for it later. Debt is debt. This is unsecured debt. No reason to lower the interest rates.

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    June 12, 2014 10:02 a.m.

    @ Mountanman, not true what you say about the filibuster. Despite the propaganda you are absorbing, the so called nuclear option was just for federal judicial nominees and executive-office appointments. Republicans had turned nomination fights into a reckless and relentless tool to grind the gears of government to a halt. The GOP's pattern of obstruction just isn’t normal. It’s not what our founders envisioned. Sadly, the filibuster continues.

  • Brio Alpine, UT
    June 12, 2014 9:58 a.m.

    To Screwdriver, Johnny Moser, UtahBlueDevil and Esquire:

    This bill isn't about just allowing students to refinance however and wherever they want. Read the article again. It plainly states toward the beginning that this bill will be paid for by the Buffet Rule, which means that additional taxes will be placed on the upper tier of American taxpayers. This group already pays the vast majority of all federal income taxes.

    That's the Democrat's answer to everything. Just add more taxes to the group that is already carrying the load for most of America. Since they make more money than most people, the hope is that those people will just keep going along with that.

    What people don't think about is that the more this group of Americans are taxed (and they are already paying much more in taxes and at a disproportionate rate to the rest of the country), the more incentive they have to take their business producing funds out of the country where they aren't taxed nearly so heavily. That then hurts all of America.

    Democrats hope that we the people don't read the details of their bills or think them through.

  • ElmoBaggins Escalante, UT
    June 12, 2014 9:46 a.m.

    As to my earlier should read pay off these legislators....not lay off !Think the right wing Mormon censors at DN we're doing a little editing!

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    June 12, 2014 9:44 a.m.


    The filibuster is still very much alive and kicking...otherwise a 56-38 bill would have passed. (56 is greater than 38).

    The nuclear option only applied to judicial appointments. They are now guaranteed an up or down vote on confirmation.

  • Darrel Eagle Mountain, UT
    June 12, 2014 9:23 a.m.

    The reason we are losing pre-eminence in the world is because of Education. We are simply paying more for less.

    If rates are high it will discourage those who could not otherwise go to school from attending. Without attending college, they have little chance to better their standing in life, and thus the cycle of poverty continues. The rich get richer, and those that cannot afford to move forward stay stuck...if they are lucky, otherwise their situation worsens. Costs go up, but wages remain stagnant.

    We need to lower the barriers for education, not find ways to continue to kick the less fortunate while they are still down.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    June 12, 2014 9:15 a.m.

    Esquire, Take a minute and learn about the nuclear option Reid and the Senate Democrats passed recently eliminating the filibuster! Filibusters are a thing of the past, thanks to Democrats!

  • Esquire Springville, UT
    June 12, 2014 8:44 a.m.

    I don't see why students should not be able to refinance for lower rates, just like homeowners do. It's not about the cost of education, that's in the past. It's about lowering out of pocket costs so that people can have a better quality of life. The GOP is showing its true colors here. Folks, it's not about you for the Republicans. It's about serving the money class. Folks are forced to pay higher than market rates (Check the prime rate and other interest rate indicators). Student loans can't be discharged in bankruptcy. We spend trillions in Iraq and Afghanistan, yet the GOP won't throw a bone to U.S. citizens trying to get by. There really is no excuse for this. Those of you with knee-jerk defenses of the Senate Republicans, please come off the ledge and think it through.

    @ Mountanman, dude, take a few minutes and learn about the issue of the filibuster and cloture.

  • Mountanman Hayden, ID
    June 12, 2014 8:18 a.m.

    Republicans blocked a Senate vote? Republicans do not control the Senate and therefore can not block any vote, at least until November! Obviously some Democrats had to vote against it also so to say Republicans blocked it is disingenuous to say the least! Perhaps there are at least some Senate Democrats who think people should be responsible for THEMSELVES instead of taxpayers always paying the tab! Perhaps there is a glimmer of hope for Democrats after all?

  • ElmoBaggins Escalante, UT
    June 12, 2014 7:26 a.m.

    when are people going to figure out that republicans will suck money from everyone in order to give more tax breaks to their corporate masters who,in turn,lay off these "legislators"

  • Hamath Omaha, NE
    June 12, 2014 5:32 a.m.

    @ M_Hughes,

    Saying that a bill would hurt no one, when the Bill will require $ from the federal gov't to pay for it is very troubling. If the gov't has to chip in some $ to make the bill work, this is money it has to get from somewhere. I'm not saying anything about whether the bill is good or bad. But your argument certainly is not convincing and even untruthful.

  • The Real Maverick Orem, UT
    June 11, 2014 11:38 p.m.

    College students and fellow grads, I have some advice for you...

    Don't you dare forget this come November. They repubs are banking that you will. They're banking on you to vote against your own interests. Time to rise up. Time to hold these greedy and selfish men accountable. It's time for college grads and students to vote out every single republican. Vote them all out. Vote democrat. And keep voting democrat until the GOP figures it out.

    There's literally no reason why any middle class worker, woman, minority, or college student should vote for a republican in November.

  • UtahBlueDevil Durham, NC
    June 11, 2014 10:30 p.m.

    Home Owners are allowed to refinance their mortgages.

    Businesses regularly refinance their debt to take advantage of lower rates.

    Our on congress authorized the refinance of US debt through by back our own bonds... and reissue of new debt at lower rates.

    But student loan debt... no. Why is that again? If you are able to make it so people can afford to refinance their debt, if it is a good thing for mortgage loans, for business debt, even home equity loans, why not student debt which is often as large as a mortgage. You can even refinance your car loan...... just not a student loan.

    Go figure.

  • Johnny Moser Thayne, WY
    June 11, 2014 10:12 p.m.

    Maybe I am missing something here. What do we "lose" by allowing students or more appropriately post-studies students that refinance to lower rates. The balances that are owed don't change do they? The amount of principle that we are supposed to get back remains the same. The money that would have been spent as interest that would have been freed up would get spent on something else which would boost the economy.

    As a life-long Republican voter, I am left scratching my head. Maybe this is one where the details of all of the other "shaving cream" in the bill needs to be understood. I am hoping that is the case.

    If you are better able to make the payments on any loan and don't default seems like a win for everyone involved, including all of the rest of America that is by default backing up those loans.

  • Midwest Mom Soldiers Grove, WI
    June 11, 2014 9:19 p.m.

    The main reason why tuition has gone up is not because money is easy, but because the right has seriously cut the amount that state universities contribute. America has abandoned education, instead of seeing it as a public good, it has become something for hedge funds to drool over. We are on a path of self-destruction.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    June 11, 2014 8:51 p.m.


    Their obligation is to do what they promised

    Barack is changing the terms of what they promised to do

    That, by definition, is not doing what they promised.

  • Fitness Freak Salt Lake City, UT
    June 11, 2014 8:06 p.m.

    As "lost in DC" points out; the devil is in the details.

    Taxpayers could/would be on the hook for the bills if the students income doesn't grow sufficiently.

  • Screwdriver Casa Grande, AZ
    June 11, 2014 3:29 p.m.

    Everybody can refinance their houses, cars and business loans. Why not student loans?

    It's like republicans are TRYING to dumb down America by making it harder to finance an education investment. They attack education at every chance so why would I believe otherwise?

    Yet all their own kids go to good colleges and none go to welding school. mmmm.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    June 11, 2014 1:35 p.m.

    oops, "there is collateral" not "their is..." sorry

    private lenders are forbidden to make government guaranteed student loans - only the government (taxpayers) can do that now. the government (taxpayers) pay interest on the funds it borrows, and the interest charged on student debt should be enough to cover the interest expense of the funds the government borrows PLUS the principal on defaulted loans. BO's plan ignores those basic economic principles.

    But what do economic principles matter when you are engaged in typical dem vote buying?

    For existing loans, banks have their costs of funds to consider - if they match funded those loans, their matched funds were likely higher, and they are still paying those higher costs of funds for that portfolio. Do you really want banks paying 4 or 5% on the funds they are lending out at 3%? If all banks did that, they would start failing aginm with a devastating effect on the economy. Banks are NOT the bad guys.

  • RedShirt USS Enterprise, UT
    June 11, 2014 12:51 p.m.

    To "M_Hughes" they didn't suggest that you should default on your loans, but that is what will happen.

    Imagine that you go to a private university and rack up $100,000 in student loans while getting a sociology degree. The proposed law would limit your payments to 10% of your salary. The current law says that after 20 years the government will stop collecting and you don't have to pay any more. Over 20 years even if your salary averages $50,000, you will only repay the principle, you won't even touch the interest on your loans. It gets worse if you consider people going to even higher priced schools with degrees with lower earning potential.

    To "David" part of the reason why education is so expensive is because money is so easy to get. The schools charge more because the government makes it so easy to get money from them. The schools are the ones that push college students into getting loans and grants.

  • David Centerville, UT
    June 11, 2014 12:16 p.m.

    Democrats are proposing to allow students to refinance at current, lower interest rates. Republicans say "no" the students have to keep their higher interest rates because that is the agreement they originally made.

    Who would be affected by the passage of this bill? Lenders would collect less interest. Student borrowers would save some money.

    Lenders make a lot of money (just look at who builds those tall skyscraper buildings in cities--banks and lenders).

    The cost of higher education has escalated beyond inflation for years.

    Why couldn't Republicans swallow their pride, embrace a Democrat proposal, and vote to help students who are trying to get a good education, position themselves for good jobs, but have to go into debt to achieve their educational goals?

    Instead, Republicans are feeding the stereotype that they only care for the rich.

  • lket Bluffdale, UT
    June 11, 2014 12:11 p.m.

    anybody should be able to refinace anything, any time so they can make it it easier in the world . chris b. is a fan of the banks and the other utra rich repulicans that would take every last dime from every last american to fatten their wallets and their stock holders and yet they also support pay day loan places that charge more interest than the moffia does and they made it leagal. over 500 % and counting. over 20% was illegal when i was a child.

  • lost in DC West Jordan, UT
    June 11, 2014 11:46 a.m.


    Did you sign a note promising to pay at the rate offered?

    I suspect you did, otherwise you would not have received the funds.

    It makes no sense, now or ever, for rates on unsecured student loans to be the same or lower than those on residential mortgages. At least with the mortgage their is collateral, so the lender has some recourse should the borrower default.

  • M_Hughes_ Salt Lake City, UT
    June 11, 2014 11:19 a.m.

    This is the reason why Republicans lose votes. This bill hurts no one, it helps those who are trying to help themselves by gaining an education.

    When I graduated from college I was stuck with a 7.5% interest rate purely because of the timing of when I graduated. My siblings who graduated a year or two before me ended up with a 2% or 3% interest rate. I have been paying on those loans for nearly ten years now and have never missed a payment. It makes no sense to me that I am unable to refinance my loan for a more advantageous interest rate, while homeowners and others are - where is the logic in that?

    And as far as Chris B's comment goes - the sponsors of the bill never suggested that the loan holders not meet their obligations, they're just trying to help them out. I think your reaction is a knee-jerk because the sponsors of the bill are Democrats, and that is simply asinine.

  • Chris B Salt Lake City, UT
    June 11, 2014 10:29 a.m.

    Here is a novel idea:

    Lets follow a "pay as your promised" path.

    I asked for student loans and I am committed to doing as I promised. The taxpayers didn't request that I take out students loans and they certainly didn't force them upon me. I personally asked for them and signed my name promising to fulfill my end of the agreement.

    Ya, its the more difficult route. I agree it would be easier to take the "blame someone else" approach and force the taxpayer to pay for my shortcomings, but integrity is more important to me.

    I don't go out to eat
    I don't go to the movies
    I don't go party with friends if it costs money
    I eat spaghetti, oatmeal, and Peanut Butter and jelly sandwiches daily.
    I don't have cable
    My clothes are old

    But to me, doing what I promised is important.

    But not to everyone, huh barack?