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During a speech on the Senate floor, Klobuchar urged her colleagues to support new legislation that would allow those with outstanding student loan debt to refinance at lower interest rates that are currently available to new borrowers 

In her speech, Klobuchar emphasized how education has been a stepping stone to opportunity for her own family

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) continues to push for action on new legislation to help students to get an affordable education. During a speech on the Senate floor, Klobuchar urged her colleagues to support new legislation introduced by U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) that would allow those with outstanding student loan debt to refinance at lower interest rates that are currently available to new borrowers. In her speech, Klobuchar emphasized how her own family history is a testament to the opportunity that education provides. 

Klobuchar’s grandfather worked 1,500 feet underground in the mines of Ely, Minnesota. He never graduated from high school, but he saved money in a coffee can in the basement to send her dad to college. Her dad graduated from Vermilion Community College and earned his graduate degree in journalism from the University of Minnesota. He went on to be a sports reporter and a newspaper columnist. Her mom was a school teacher, who taught second grade until she was 70.

“Here I am standing today on the Senate floor, the daughter of a teacher and a newspaper man and the granddaughter of an iron ore miner,” Klobuchar said. “It would not have happened without education. Outstanding student loans now, they are not like something you can fit in a coffee can.  They are dragging us down by the millions, and we must consider this common sense bill so more students can manage their debt and build a better future for themselves and their family.”

The Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act would allow all eligible Federal Family Education Loan (FFEL) Program and Direct student loan borrowers to refinance their high-interest loans down to 3.86 percent – the rate that is offered to new federal borrowers because of the Bipartisan Student Loan Certainty Act which was signed into law last summer. Under this bill, graduates and PLUS borrowers would also pay their loans under the 2013 rates at 5.4 and 6.4 percent respectively. The bill also allows people who are in good standing to refinance their high-interest private student loans down to the rates offered to new federal student loan borrowers this year. Those who refinance would also have access to the benefits and protections of the federal student loan program.

Broadcast-quality video of Klobuchar’s remarks is available here.

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