Group seeks to make student loan bill an issue in Ky. Senate rac - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Group seeks to make student loan bill an issue in Ky. Senate race

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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WDRB) -- With tuition rising at the University of Kentucky, the University of Louisville and schools across the state, some are trying to make student loan debt an issue in Kentucky's U.S. Senate race.

Louisville realtor Daniel Grossberg won't reveal how much, but he says he and his school teacher wife face a huge student loan debt.

"It's more than a year's income," he said.

That's one reason Grossberg, who is also head of the Louisville Young Democrats, is part of a national campaign by a group called the Progressive Campaign Change Committee.

It is collecting signatures on a petition to push for passage of a student loan reform bill sponsored by Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren.

"We're calling on Sen. Mitch McConnell to join Elizabeth Warren in standing up for students, parents and hard-working people," said Grossberg.

The bill would permit those holding high interest federal student loans to refinance at a lower rate.

"Our students are drowning in debt. We must find a way to address this crisis," said Warren during a speech on the Senate floor.

The change would cost the federal government $66 billion, which the bill offsets with a tax increase on millionaires.

"And I think we've come to the point where we recognize it's time for us to share the wealth so that everybody can go to school and be educated," said state Rep. Kelly Flood (D-Lexington) who supports the bill.

But Sen. Mitch McConnell, on several occasions, has accused some Democrats of politicizing the student loan issue instead of trying to find a bipartisan solution.

"It's time to finally solve this issue. Washington should stop trying to use them as pawns in a political chess match," McConnell said during a Senate floor speech.

Indeed, the petition campaign targets only Republicans, and Grossberg admits he does not know where Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes stands on the bill.

"I can tell you that if she doesn't take our side on this, we'll speak to her as well," he said.

For the record, the Grimes campaign says she strongly supports the bill.

But even supporters concede the bill is unlikely to get serious consideration in this election year. And its ultimate fate depends on who wins in November.

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