Nebraska U.S. Senator Mike Johanns expresses strong opposition to a student loan proposal that failed to overcome a filibuster on Wednesday. Johanns feels that the proposed legislation does nothing to address the cost of college and shifts private debt to taxpayers. The bill was brought forward by Senator Elizabeth Warren and would have raised taxes on the wealthy to pay for the reduction in student loans.
“It’s a political stunt,” Johanns states. “It had no chance of passing. We had voted no on those tax increases seven times before. She (Warren) knew she wasn’t going to pass that bill.”
Johanns says the proposal could shift more than $400 billion worth of debt on the federal ledger. The proposal passed by a 56-38 vote, but did not get the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster.
Meanwhile, recent problems within the Veteran’s Administration prompted the U.S. Senate to pass a bill aimed to provide better care for our nation’s veterans. On Wednesday, the senate passed the Veterans Affairs package by a 93-3 vote, allowing for veterans to seek outside care from the VA system if necessary.
Senator Johanns remains hopeful that steps are being taken to correct the wrongs within the VA system.
“I believe we can finally get the VA to straighten up, pay attention, and do the things they should be doing,” Johanns expresses. “I think it’s the right approach–I’m not saying we solved all of the problems on Wednesday, but would I would say is that it’s a very important step taken in the right direction.”
The bill mirrors one recently passed in the House and will now head to President Obama’s desk, awaiting his signature. The bill also allows for emergency funds to pay for doctors, nurses, and facilities within the VA.