FRANKFORT, Ky. (AP) — Sen. Elizabeth Warren is coming to Kentucky to campaign with Alison Lundergan Grimes about reducing college student loan debt in a U.S. Senate race that has so far been dominated by coal.
Grimes announced Thursday a series of campaign events with the Democratic senator from Massachusetts designed to criticize Republican incumbent Sen. Mitch McConnell for blocking a bill that would have allowed some of Kentucky's 588,000 college students to refinance their federal student loans. Details of the stops were not available, but the campaign said in a news release they would include stops with college students.
"Unlike Mitch McConnell who votes against helping students at every turn, Alison Lundergan Grimes will stand up for every Kentuckian who dreams of obtaining a college degree," Grimes campaign manager Jonathan Hurst said in a news release.
McConnell and most Senate Republicans voted to block the bill because it would have also set minimum tax rates on people who make more than $1 million. That's why the Grimes campaign sees it as an opportunity to continue to attack McConnell on pocketbook issues - much like the minimum wage increase, which has been a key part of the Kentucky Secretary of State's campaign.
With more than 588,000 Kentucky college students facing federal student loans totaling more than $13.4 billion, Grimes characterized McConnell's vote as one "against our middle class families."
"Senator McConnell's blatant disregard for the hundreds of thousands of Kentuckians crushed by student loan debt is deeply disconcerting," Grimes said in a news release.
But Jena Patterson, chairwoman of the Kentucky Federation of College Republicans, pointed out that McConnell supported a bipartisan compromise on reducing student loan interest rates in 2013 - one that Warren opposed.
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