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Student Loans Doubled, and Sen. Warren Hasn't Given Up the Fight

From Senator Elizabeth Warren:

A month ago, we launched a national movement together to cut student loan interest rates. More than one million people signed on to give students the same good deal we give the big Wall Street banks.

So far, we can't get a cut. But it's worse than that.

Today, interest rates on new student loans will double to 6.8%, yet Republicans continue to block a vote to keep rates at the current 3.4% for another year. Instead, at a time when the government is scheduled to make obscene profits on federal student loans -- $51 billion this year -- Republicans have proposed their own plan to increase government profits even more.

We will not play chicken with our students' future. That's why my colleagues and I, led by Senators Jack Reed (D-RI) and Kay Hagan (D-NC), have introduced the Keep Student Loans Affordable Act, to lock in the current 3.4% interest rate for one more year as we continue to push for real, long-term reform. On July 10, the Senate will vote on this proposal.

If you support stopping student loan rates from doubling, I need you to call on Congress to pass the Keep Student Loans Affordable Act by adding your name today.


There's a fundamental question here: Should we be investing in our students who want to build a better future for themselves and their families, or should the government be profiting at their expense?

One year is just a short-term patch. But we need the time to fight the bigger fight.

In the long-term, we need to address the $1.1 trillion dollars in existing debt, to bring exploding college costs under control, and to stop treating our students as a profit center for our government.

DFA members have done amazing work. You've called Senators, written letters, and brought new leading educators on board. We are on the right side on this issue, and I know that if we push harder, in time we will win the day.

But with the deadline now passed, our students shouldn't pay for Congress's failure to act. Allowing rates to double this summer, or passing the costly Republican plan, would add billions to the already enormous debt burden our students suffer.

Holding interest rates at 3.4% now gives us the time to craft a real solution, one that offers real relief and real reform.

Join me and demand Congress lock in low interest rates low today.


Thank you for being a part of this,

Elizabeth

Senator Elizabeth Warren

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Categories: Education


The American Lung Association is bringing a clean-air case to the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court will hear a case this October on climate issues. Specifically, the EPA’s Cross-State Air Pollution Rule. This rule is designed to force "upwind" states to take responsibility for the pollution they emit that lands in other states. It makes sense, right?

From: Trinity ConsultantsU.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit ruled 2-1 in favor of dismantling the rule in favor of dirty power plant operators. I mean, I'm sure they aren't personally dirty but they do represent the interests of fossil fuel advocates who don't want to be held liable for pollution. 

The promise of action of climate change has been up in the air for a while, and Obama has finally taken a firm stand (even if it was just as firmly ignored by most TV networks). But almost immediately following his speech the Supreme Court announced that it would take up the climate rule that was struck down by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit that forces "upwind" states to enact tougher regulations on polluters whose emissions drag down air quality in "downwind" states. Seems reasonable, right? Grist reports that the Court of Appeals took the side of high-pollution power plant owners whose general argument was, "Not my problem."

It's called the Cross-State Air Pollution Rule, and losing it would cost the nation dearly in 2014.

  • 13,000 - 34,000 pollution related deaths
  • 1.8 million sick days
  • 400,000 asthma attacks
  • $280 billion lost in benefits

(Source)

Choppy waters ahead

The Supreme Court, and many other higher courts have been so pro-business in recent years that its actions have come under the scrutiny of Elizabeth Warren. To boot, since Justice Roberts' appointment to Chief Justice, the Supreme Court has become less and less open to environmental action. Just look at the blows environmentalists took in 2009!

Threatening to put the lives of thousands of people at greater risk in the name of a few less climate regulations is irresponsible. We haven't been shy about calling out big business on their efforts to overwhelm the American people. Check out our other posts on big business and climate change!

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Categories: Environment Big Business


Howard Dean's Take on the Past 24 Hours @ SCOTUS


Yesterday's historic Supreme Court decision was a blessing for thousands of gay men and women in the country -- but for folks in Virginia, Ohio, and 35 other states, real change could be a long ways off.

Equal marriage is now back in the hands of the states. And too many of those states are controlled by right-wing nut jobs like Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli, who argued that gay marriage inevitably leads to polygamy.

Extremists like Cuccinelli are holding our whole country back. That's why DFA launched our Purple to Blue project -- to start moving us forward again, one state at a time.

Organizers are already in Virginia, winning primaries with strong, progressive candidates. They need your support of $4 or more today to carry the fight into November.


It's not just about LGBT rights. On Tuesday, the Supreme Court gutted the heart of the Voting Rights Act, giving Republican governors the freedom to suppress voters and gerrymander districts with abandon. Later that same day, the country was captivated by Texas as one courageous female state senator almost singlehandedly turned back the biggest attack on women's rights yet.

These battles are being fought in all fifty states, and the attacks won't stop until we retake control of state capitols across the country. That's why DFA's commitment to a fifty-state strategy is so important -- and why your support is so critical.

We've already won our first wave of primaries in Virginia -- your donation of $4 or more right now will fuel our campaign as as we head toward November.


Thank you for all you do,

Howard

Gov. Howard Dean, M.D.
Founder, Democracy for America


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Categories: LGBT Women Voting Rights



What you didn't see: DOMA being struck down already saved this family

10:00am: DOMA is struck down

10:30am: A New York City immigration judge stopped the deportation proceedings that would split up Steven and Sean, a gay couple who were married in New York.

From: www.stopthedeportations.com

Steven is from Colombia, and when he married his partner Sean in New York last year, they also joined the fight against DOMA. The case to keep Steven in the US, and with his partner was saved when the law was considered unconstitutional.

From The DOMA Project:

This morning our intern, Gabe, ran the 77-page ruling and delivered it the Immigration Court five blocks from our office. It was still warm from the printer.

The ruling was delivered, and the immigration judge stopped the proceedings.

Sean and Steven may be the very first binational couple effected by the repeal of DOMA

Even with DOMA repealed, the fight still needs to be taken to the states. Add your voice, and pledge to elect pro-equality legislators!  

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Categories: LGBT


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