The student loan program was originally designed to invest in what all politicians say they care about: our human capital. Congress ought to empower young Americans to follow their passions and be the future leaders of our country. Instead, they bury our young in debt while giving tax breaks to the financial service industry that came close to wrecking the world’s economy with irresponsible financial practices.
So far, Congress has failed miserably to take necessary action in a timely manner. Just last week, Senate Republicans and Democrats both were unable to move forward legislation that would do the bare minimum to stop the slow-motion July 1 catastrophe.
This failure to act just 24 days before that deadline is deeply troubling, but it also gives Democrats another chance to push for something bigger. I am proud to join Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and hundreds of thousands of progressives from Democracy for America and other national organizations in calling on Congress to pass Warren’s bold proposal, which gives our students the same low interest rates that our government grants to the banking industry for its day-to-day needs. Surely our students are far more valuable for America’s future.
Howard Dean is the former governor of Vermont, former chairman of the Democratic National Committee and the founder of Democracy for America.
Vice President Joe Biden waits to conduct a mock swearing-in ceremony with Sen. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii, in the Capitol's Old Senate Chamber, December 2, 2014. Schatz was sworn in to serve the remainder of his term since he was appointed to the seat after Sen. Daniel Inouye, D-Hawaii, passed away.