News Column

DSCC: On Student Loans, Would Terri Lynn Land Continue Standing With Special Interests & Against Michigan College Students?

June 12, 2014



WASHINGTON, June 12 -- The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee issued the following news release:

Today as Republicans in Congress voted en masse against making college more affordable, Terri Lynn Land is refusing to say whether she would also put special interests ahead of Michigan college students or vote to pass a measure that would help Michigan students with the crushing weight of student loan debt. Michiganders have a right to know exactly where Land stands.

Land backed the reckless Republican platform that called for privatizing the federal student loan program and put Wall Street banks back in charge. Land's plan could make college more expensive, burden graduates with more student loan debt, and cost taxpayers nearly $60 billion.

With a record like that, Michiganders must assume Land would vote against making college more affordable for working families by closing tax loopholes for millionaires and billionaires and using the savings to allow anyone with pre-existing student loans to refinance their loans at lower rates. In Michigan alone, 963,000 (http://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/student_debt_report_final.pdf)borrowers could benefit from refinancing their student loans at a lower rates. Would Terri Lynn Land have sided with Michigan special interests and voted against helping Michiganders with student loan debt?

"Michigan students and families deserve to know where Terri Lynn Land stands on the bill that would help nearly 1 million Michiganders with student loan debt," said Justin Barasky, a spokesman at the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. "Michiganders deserve to know if instead of fighting to make college more affordable, Terri Lynn Land would vote to allow millionaires and billionaires to enjoy their tax breaks. Michiganders deserve leaders who will fight for them in Washington, not reckless partisans like Terri Lynn Land who always puts the interests of her Washington special interest friends first."

BACKGROUND:

LAND SUPPORTED RNC PLATFORM THAT CALLED FOR PRIVATIZING FEDERAL STUDENT LOAN PROGRAM, PUTTING WALL STREET BACK IN CHARGE

2012 GOP Platform Opposed Federal Student Loans, Called For Private Companies To Return To The System. "The federal government should not be in the business of originating student loans; however, it should serve as an insurance guarantor for the private sector as they offer loans to students. Private sector participation in student financing should be welcomed." [2012 GOP Platform (http://www.gop.com/2012-republican-platform_home/).]

* Land Said She Supported The 2012 Republican Platform. Reported Michigan Live in June 2013, "Land said she supports the platform but did not vote for it at the convention in 2012. Her term as committeewoman began after the RNC convention." [Michigan Live, 6/3/13 (http://www.mlive.com/news/index.ssf/2013/06/terri_lynn_land.html)]

Returning Federal Student Loan Program To Private Lenders Could Cost Taxpayers Nearly $60 Billion A Year, Profits Would Go To Private Companies Instead Of Providing Extra Funding For Pell Grants And Subsidized Loans. Reported the Huffington Post in August 2013, "Financial institutions like Wells Fargo, Sallie Mae and Discover still issue private student loans. But in a student loan reform package attached to the Affordable Care Act, the Obama administration cut subsidies for banks that issue student loans through FEEL, instead channeling that money into funding Pell Grants and direct government loans. The Congressional Budget Office projected the move would save nearly $60 billion, with $39 billion of that going to lower-cost federal student aid programs. The Republican platform would essentially have the government return to the private bank-as-student loan middleman system." [Huffington Post, 10/27/13 (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/30/republican-platform-student-loans_n_1839698.html)]

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Source: Targeted News Service


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