Senators Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders, former presidential candidate, along with several other progressive senators introduced a bill that would seek to eliminate college tuition and fees at public four-year colleges and universities in the United States for students from families that make up to US$125,000 a year.
“Our job is to bring forward a progressive agenda,” Sanders said as he introduced the bill. “Our job now is to go out in every state in this country…. We can win this fight when millions of Americans stand up and demand this legislation.”
The “College For All” Act is a reflection of some of the promises made by Sanders during his presidential campaign last year and seeks to impose additional taxes on Wall Street financial institutions in order to fund university tuitions.
The bill is not expected to advance anywhere in the Republican-controlled U.S. Congress, however, the sponsors of the bill look to use it as an organizing tool to rally Democrats and progressives who were excited by the political revolution that Sanders had pushed for during his election bid.
During his campaign Sanders promised a free-tuition for all without any threshold while also saying he would create a relief plan for many university graduates from the burdensome debts they have.
The legislation proposes an end to federal government’s ability to profit from student loans and allow students to refinance existing loans at low rates.
“It is obscene that the United States government is making a profit off the backs of people who are trying to get an education,” Warren, who has railed against the government’s practice for years, said. Official estimates put the student debt in the United States at more than US$1 trillion.
This bill is similar to the plan that Hillary Clinton adopted after winning the Democratic nomination, which was largely crafted by Sanders and his campaign with her team as part of the Democratic
The bill is similar to a plan New York Governor Andrew Cuomo introduced this year, which Sanders also backed. The plan currently has about 20 congress people compared to zero when Sanders introduced a similar bill in 2015.
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