From Van Jones’ Rebuild the Dream:
Infuriating: This morning, the U.S. Senate failed to pass a bill to keep student loan interest rates low. Not one Republican voted in favor. Not one decided to stand with the millions of young people buried in overwhelming debt just for getting an education.
It was a choice between the 1% and the rest of us — and they chose to make life harder for students and young people. They don’t seem to care that Americans hold more than $1 trillion in student debt, or that all this debt is crippling young people’s ability to make and spend money and rebuild our economy, or that both Obama and Romney support keeping rates low.
The only reason this vote was close was because of you. We’ve shown that we can bring the real struggles of young people into the halls of Congress. But if Congress doesn’t take action by July 1, interest rates on federally subsidized Stafford loans will double. Our fight isn’t over.
This isn’t over yet. Can you chip in $5 to help us win before loan rates double on July 1?
It’s incredible how much progress we’ve already made on this campaign. Rebuild the Dream members like you made an incredible 8,000 phone calls and wrote 130,000 letters to your members of Congress. In just the last two weeks, President Obama and even Mitt Romney agreed that interest rates on these loans should stay affordable.
Now we need to do more. It’s our obligation to domore.It used to be that education was the building block of the American Dream. It was how young people escaped poverty, and parents made sure their children had a better life than they did. All that is crumbling away.
Today, young people are graduating off a cliff. College graduates have been forced to put their dreams on hold while they struggle to find jobs and make their monthly payments. Parents have been forced to take money out of their retirement funds to help their kids. Grandparents are forced to use their Social Security checks to keep their grandchildren from defaulting on loans.
Republican Senators may be in the pockets of the 1%, but we already have 52 votes. We only need 8 more, and we expect the Senate to vote again soon. Senators don’t want to upset the lobbyists who fund their campaign war chests, but they really don’t want to be portrayed in the media as putting the needs of those lobbyists ahead of their constituents. We need to go all in to expose the senators who are holding American families hostage just so the big student debt lenders can get rich, while corporations dodge their taxes.
Time is short, but we can still win this fight — can you give $5 to help us run an all-out campaign to convince Congress to keep student loan interest rates low?
The partisan bickering over this is unacceptable. There’s no question about the right way to pay for this. We need to close corporate tax loopholes. And we need to protect funding for preventive healthcare costs. And there’s no question that Obama and Romney, as the leaders of both parties, want this fix. The only question is: what will the most out-of-touch members of Congress do — stay out of touch, or fall in line with a no-brainer solution?
We have momentum on our side, and if we keep pushing together, we can win. What we do now — whether we sit back, or raise our game and fight harder — will matter for millions of Americans.
Chip in $5 so we can raise our game and win this fight.
Natalie and the Rebuild the Dream team