On Wednesday, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) called on her colleagues in the Senate to reduce interest rates for Americans crushed by student loan debt, and pay for it by closing tax loopholes for the rich. Last summer, after a rancorous debate, Congress passed a law setting interest rates for new student loans for undergrads at 3.86 percent for the coming year. (Rates were set to double to 6.8 percent.) However, the legislation did not cut interest rates for those who took out the same type of loan before July 1 of last year. Americans who financed their education earlier than that are paying off debt with interest rates of 7, 8, or 9 percent. On Wednesday, Warren joined Sens. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), and Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.
Last month’s student loan interest rate fix was messy and a long time in coming, but — for better or worse — the Obama administration sees that as the model for how to pass the president’s plan for college affordability.