The Senate passed a bill this week that will lower student loan interest rates, at least for the few years. Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown isn’t happy with the legislation and as Emily McCord reports, he says there's still more work to do to help students.
The bill ties student loan rates to the financial markets. Right now, it means lower interest rates but if the economy improves, it could mean that those rates will be much higher. There are caps on them (8.25% for undergraduates). It was a bipartisan bill. President Obama called it a victory and national education advocates say it was the best deal possible. But Senator Brown says it doesn’t address the cost of higher education and even if there are caps on the rates, it's still a burden on the nation's students.
"It’s still an oppressive debt on them as they get out of college and community college or a four-year school," says Brown. "It means they’re not buying a house in many cases or starting a business. They’re not doing the things, starting a family, that we want them to do for their own fulfillment and also for this economy."
Brown says he expects the bill will pass the house and plans to propose future legislation, like a bill aimed at private student loans. Brown says he wants banks and private lenders to work with students to refinance their loans to help get them out of debt.