In a 56 to 38 vote on Wednesday, Senate republicans blocked a democratic bill to lower the cost of student loans.
The bill coincided with a White House push on the same topic. It needed 60 votes to pass. The measure did not have any GOP co-sponsors and would have been paid for with a tax on the wealthy, something republicans opposed.
President Obama was in Massachusetts on Wednesday to speak to graduating high schoolers. During his commencement address at Worcester Technical High School, the President put aside the traditional words of wisdom for a moment to make the case for changes to student loans.
"Even though they had votes and couldn't make it, I want to give a plug to a couple people: Senator Elizabeth Warren and Congressman John Tierney, both from Massachusetts who introduced bills that would make it easier for students to repay their student loans. It's the same idea we used to make it easier for your parents to pay off their mortgages. Now, today that bill was defeated by republicans in Congress, which was frustrating."
Earlier this week, President Obama said he's expanding a program that caps monthly payments on some federal student loans at 10% of the borrower's income.
A White House official said the changes will allow an additional five million borrowers to qualify. The new expansion will take effect in December 2015.