Blanche Lincoln, threatened by a primary campaign in Arkansas, has decided that the best way to win over Arkansans is to make college less affordable for them and funnel money to the biggest banks in America.
Six Democrats signaled deep concerns with their chamber’s student lending reform bill on Tuesday, imploring party leaders to “consider potential alternative legislative proposals” in the coming days.
That could spell trouble for Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa), the chairman of the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, and other Democratic leaders, who once hoped to advance the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act to the president’s desk using the chamber’s 50-vote reconciliation process.
In a brief letter dated Tuesday, Democratic Sens. Bill Nelson (Fl.), Tom Carper (Del.), Blanche Lincoln (Ark.), Jim Webb (Va.), Mark Warner (Va.) and Ben Nelson (Neb.) describe reform to the country’s “higher education funding” system as a “priority.”
But the group of centrist Democrats also express concerns the Senate’s lending bill could ultimately result in local job loss.
The job loss thing is a myth propagated by Sallie Mae lobbyists to preserve bank profits. No surprise that Lincoln would jump aboard that train, even though Sallie Mae and other student lenders don’t have any main offices in Arkansas, unlike Delaware, Nebraska and Virginia. She’s just jumping aboard because it sounds “centrist” and favors big money interests.
It’s not enough for Lincoln to want to stop reconciliation on the health care bill, she’s determined to stop it for the no-brainer prospect of directly lending to students, saving billions to make college more affordable.
I’ve reached out to Bill Halter’s campaign for a comment on all this, I’ll let you know when I get a response.