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Press Release
February 3, 2015

U.S. Representative Mark Pocan Takes on Student Loan Debt Crisis With New Bill for Common Sense Student Loan Refinancing

Meanwhile in Wisconsin, Gov. Walker Cooks Up Recipe for Exploding Student Debt With Budget Cuts and Tuition Hikes

MADISON, Wis. — U.S. Representative Mark Pocan announced today he is re-introducing legislation to allow borrowers to refinance their federal student loans and take advantage of lower interest rates.

Rep. Pocan’s bill is a bit of good news for Wisconsin students on the same day Gov. Walker is set to unveil a number of proposals slashing state funding for the UW System by record levels and allowing unlimited tuition hikes after 2016.

The following are the statements of One Wisconsin Now Executive Director Scot Ross:

“Rep. Pocan’s Student Loan Refinancing Act letting borrowers take advantage of lower interest rates is a common sense reform that will help restore fairness to a system gone awry and invigorate our economy.

“Millions of Americans have worked hard to get an education and took on the personal responsibility to pay for it. They’ve earned a fair shot at the middle class, but instead they are increasingly saddled with decades of debt.

“While the federal government stands to make billions of dollars off the interest charged on student loans, big banks can borrow money from the Federal Reserve at interest rates of less than one percent.

“Allowing borrowers to refinance their student loans just like you can with a mortgage isn’t a bailout, it’s a common sense reform. Helping borrowers save money means they’ll have more to invest in strengthening our economy by doing things like starting a small businesses, buying their own home or purchasing a new vehicle.

“Unfortunately Rep. Pocan’s common sense solution to help take on the economic challenge of 40 million Americans with over $1.2 trillion in debt is not shared by our Governor in Wisconsin.

“Tonight Gov. Walker will unveil his budget plan that slashes public support for the University of Wisconsin and allows unlimited tuition hikes after 2016 – the exact recipe that’s led to record amounts of student debt in the United States today.”

# # #

One Wisconsin Now is a statewide communications network specializing in effective earned media and online organizing to advance progressive leadership and values.

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