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Elizabeth Warren's (Rhetorical) Discount Window for Student Loans

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) listens during a hearing on the Financial Stability Oversight Council's annual report on May 21
U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) listens during a hearing on the Financial Stability Oversight Council's annual report on May 21Photograph by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Time is ticking down to July 1, when the interest rates on subsidized student loans will double to 6.8 percent unless Congress Acts. Obama and the House GOP want to tie student loan interest rates closer to market rates (though they have different ways of doing so), but Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) has been pushing a bill—her very first bill, in fact—to let students borrow from the Federal Reserve at the same rate it lends to Wall Street, which currently is 0.74 percent.

Tonight Warren’s holding an “emergency online briefing” with MoveOn.org, looking to harness the enthusiasm of the almost 439,000 people who signed MoveOn’s petition to support the legislation. When she made the proposal in early May, our own Josh Green explained that the bill will be effective—not as a piece of legislation that has a real chance in passing, but as a “damning” way to contrast the aid to banks “with what the government does (or doesn’t do) for students and their families.”