News Column

Walsh: Shameful Display Will Not Stop Work to Make College Affordable

June 11, 2014



WASHINGTON, June 11 -- The office of Sen. John Walsh, D-Mont., issued the following news release:

Senator John Walsh today criticized those who blocked the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, which would have directly benefited more than 81,000 Montana college students, recent graduates and thousands of families across the state. Walsh issued the following statement:

"The Senate today had an opportunity to provide college students, graduates, and their families with some relief from the crippling burden of tuition debt so Montana's young people can be part of a growing economy full of good-paying jobs.

"Instead, the measure fell short as a handful of Senators stood with the special interests rather than the students. The failed leadership of a few will hurt Montanans and I am committed to continuing the fight on behalf of working families.

"This shameful display from Washington, D.C. will not stop me from the fight Montanans asked me to lead in reforming the student loan system - making college affordable for Montana students and families."

In Montana, the average college graduate will face more than $26,000 in tuition-related debt. Under the measure that failed in the Senate today, more than 81,000 Montana student loan borrowers would have been able to refinance their loans.

In April, Walsh launched a college affordability tour to hear from students across the university system about the challenges they face to pay for higher education. He sponsored legislation to allow students to refinance loans at a fixed rate, which would save the average students thousands of dollars in future payments. Walsh held roundtable discussions at the University of Montana, Blackfeet Community College, Montana State University, and Montana State University - Billings.

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