Elizabeth Warren says student loan debate ‘boils down to three words: billionaires or students’

Democratic U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, of Massachusetts speaks to a group of supporters at a rally in support of Kentucky democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes, Sunday, June 29, 2014 at the University of Louisville in Louisville, Ky. Warren has been canvassing the country following a failed vote in the U.S. Senate that would have allowed some people to refinance their student loan debt to take advantage of lower interest rates. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

Democratic U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, of Massachusetts speaks to a group of supporters at a rally in support of Kentucky democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes, Sunday, June 29, 2014 at the University of Louisville in Louisville, Ky. (AP Photo/Timothy D. Easley)

Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) framed the student loan debate as a choice of either “billionaires or students” Wednesday morning, and urged a gathering of youth to confront lawmakers who she says have chosen the former.

Warren spoke to a crowd at the progressive Make Progress National Summit in Washington, D.C., lobbying for her student loan bill, the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act. The legislation, which failed to advance in the Senate this spring, would reduce the interest rates of certain student loan debtors and pay for the lost government revenue with a tax hike on the wealthy, the “Buffett Rule.”

“There is a choice that America will make. And that choice is, when there’s tens of billions of dollars on the table, will the money be used to protect tax loopholes for millionaires and billionaires, or will that money be used to help people who are trying to get an education, who are trying to get a start,” Warren said. “In other words, this one really does boil down to three words: billionaires or students? Which way is this country going? Which way do our values go on this?”

The liberal standard bearer described the student loan fight as “the tip of the spear” that would open the floodgates for myriad progressive causes, and said it would take a significant lobbying effort from youth to get there. She asked those in attendance to badger lawmakers who oppose her measure with the billionaires versus students narrative.

“Ask them why they think that it is more important to stick young people with high interest rates on student loans than it is to ask millionaires and billionaires to pay a fair share of taxes. Ask them why they think they work for billionaires instead of for young people who are trying to build a future. Ask them those questions.”

Raffi Williams, a spokesperson for the Republican National Committee, dismissed Warren’s talk as “politics.”

“Instead of playing politics with a serious issue, Warren and her fellow Democrats should put forth real solutions and stop ignoring the dozens of House-passed, pro-growth bills that will help students afford their student loan bills,” Williams told Red Alert Politics.

Warren’s bill went down in a 56-38 procedural vote in June, falling four votes short of a 60-vote threshold needed to move the legislation forward. The measure can be brought up again this year, and she and fellow Democrats have vowed to keep the issue alive.

Comments

Polititainment

Michael Bay might direct Benghazi movie

Bay, who has spent the last several years gaining popularity for his "Transformers" films, is reportedly in talks to direct the Benghazi film "13 Hours," according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Holder wants Denzel to play him in movie

Holder spoke to The Hill about Hollywood and politics while at an event at the Washington Ideas Forum Wednesday that was hosted by The Aspen Institute and The Atlantic.

'Rival Survival' premiering Wednesday

Senators Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) and Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.) are getting ready to show America their bipartisan fire-starting skills on "Rival Survival," a reality show starring tho lawmakers that premiers Wednesday night on the Discovery Channel.

Lovitz has a field day with Hillary

Before Hillary Clinton's jobs comment is swept aside as a minor whoopsie, a few words from Jon Lovitz.

John Oliver has some ideas for the FDA

Some people want more nutrition information on food labels--but who really understands those labels anyway?

White House

Russian hackers broke into the White House network

Hackers with suspected ties to the Russian government recently broke into the White House’s unclassified computer network, the Washington Post reported Tuesday night.

Obama is withholding over 15,000 Fast and Furious documents

President Obama claimed executive privilege to withhold over 15,000 documents relating to Operation Fast and Furious, including nearly 20 emails sent between Attorney General Eric Holder and his wife.

White House fence jumper charged with assault
WASHINGTON (AP) — The 23-year-old Maryland man who climbed over the White House fence Wednesday night has been charged with felonies for assaulting two police dogs and making threats, the Secret Service said Thursday. Dominic Adesanya of Bel Air, Maryland, is in custody of the U.S. Marshals Service for previous outstanding warrants, Secret Service spokesman Brian Leary said. […]
President Obama, unpaid bills and the curious editing of the White House transcript
President Obama, some unpaid bills and a curiously “inaudible” section of the White House recording of a speech — that’s how all good stories start, right? While at a Democratic National Committee fundraiser in Chicago, Obama cracked a joke about the “unpaid bills” at his home. The joke was reported by the White House Press […]
Secrecy shrouds how the Obamas cook their chicken wings

Now it seems the Obamas are tight-lipped even about their eating habits.

Congress

Justin Amash envisions a libertarian Congress

Rep. Justin Amash, the libertarian congressman from Michigan, knows that Congress is far from libertarian. But someday, he thinks that might change.

Rand Paul: The GOP's image ‘sucks’

Rand Paul didn’t mince words about the GOP.

Small college's students thrown into 2014 election

Young people tend not to engage much in the humdrum local politics that go into midterm elections. But what if it’s happening literally in their own backyard?

GOP senator: 'Sorry the government's so f***ed'

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) made some self-deprecating jokes and colorful remarks about the state of the government during a recent private gathering, per a recording provided to CNN by South Carolina Democrats.

Top lawmaker's Ebola claim

A leading House Republican says he is aware of information that points to the United States eventually receiving non-U.S. Ebola patients for treatment.