Republicans block a student-loan bill, and Rangel’s challenger blames ‘Congress’

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After Republicans in Washington successfully blocked federal legislation to limit the cost of student loans, one of Rep. Charlie Rangel's Democratic challengers, State Senator Adriano Espaillat, released a statement blaming "Congress" for its inaction.

Espailat didn't blame the bill's failure on the 21-term congressman he is trying to unseat who, like himself, is a member of a legislative body that his party does not control. But he also didn't narrow his critique to the majority Republicans, who were, after all, responsible for the bill's failure.

"Once again Congress has failed the American people," Espaillat said in a public statement. "Congress is moving backward, doubling the interest rate on borrowers who are already saddled with mountains of debt."

The Associated Press described the bill's failure this way:

"Senate Republicans blocked a Democratic bill Tuesday to preserve low interest rates for millions of college students' loans, as the two parties engaged in election-year choreography aimed at showing each is the better protector of families in today's rugged economy."

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In his statement, Espaillat pointed to his own plan for lowering student debt. That plan includes deferring "all student loan payments for the first five years after graduation" and eliminating "all student loan payments" for people who work for a "non-profit entity in an impoverished community."