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Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) rose to the floor of the Senate on Wednesday to call on Congress to confront the escalating crisis resulting in students amassing a lifetime of debt while pursuing higher education.

“Adjusted for inflation, a young person today will pay 300 percent of what her parents paid just 30 years ago,” Warren said, noting that student loan debt held by Americans now totals more than $1.2 trillion.

And as borrowers suffer — with more than a third having been delinquent for more than 90 days — the government makes incredible profits, with $67 billion expected on the loans issued between 2007 and 2013 alone.

“Tying students to a lifetime of financial servitude as a condition of getting an education does not reflect our values,” she said.

In addition to lowering the cost of college, Warren announced that she will be introducing legislation that will offer borrowers relief now by allowing “eligible borrowers with high-interest loans to refinance at interest rates that are at least as low as those currently being offered to new borrowers in the federal student loan program.”

And she said her program could be paid for by closing loopholes designed by and for the rich.

“We can start with the Buffett Rule—a rule that would limit tax loopholes for the wealthy and ensure that billionaires pay at least as much as their secretaries.”

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Sen. Jeanne Shaheen

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