Tenn. Senator Blasts President's Student Loan Initiative

Jun 10, 2014

WASHINGTON (AP/WMOT) – President Barack Obama says the rising cost of college has left America's middle class feeling trapped. He says no hard-working young America should be priced out of a higher education.

To that end, Obama yesterday signed a presidential memorandum he says will help an additional 5 million student borrowers.

Republicans are calling the move a political stunt. Tennessee Senator Lamar Alexander reacted to the president’s initiative on the Senate floor.

“College students don’t need one dollar day to pay off a $27,000 student loan. They need a job.” 

Existing repayment guidelines insure borrowers pay no more than 10 percent of their monthly income toward a student loan. However, that plan only applies to money borrowed after October 2007. Obama's memo makes the plan fully retroactive.

Senate Democrats hope to write Obama’s initiative into law. Republicans are calling the measure class warfare, because the bill would be offset by higher taxes on the wealthiest Americans.