Congressman James Clyburn, Sen. Elizabeth Warren lay out student debt relief plan during town hall

Updated: Oct. 9, 2019 at 11:11 PM EDT
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ORANGEBURG, S.C. (WIS) - On Wednesday night, U.S. Representative James Clyburn (D-South Carolina) and U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Massachusetts) discussed their proposed legislation that would cancel student loan debt for millions of Americans.

Earlier this year, Congressman Clyburn and Sen. Warren introduced the Student Loan Debt Relief Act. They held a town hall at the campus of South Carolina State University on Wednesday. During the event, they said student loan impacts many students and graduates across the country, but they are paying close attention to the impact it has on students and grads at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.

"We're disproportionately crushing a generation of students of color,” Sen. Warren said. “That is not how a country builds a future and we gotta change that."

At the town hall event, they answered questions from students like S.C. State senior Charles C. Patton.

"We're told that we can't get jobs unless we go to school. If you make school not affordable how are you supposed to do that and get a good education?"

If the Student Loan Debt Relief Act passes, it would eliminate up to $50,000 worth of student debt for people in households making less than $100,000 a year. Over the last five years, student loan debt has grown by 30% in the Palmetto State according to Experian.

“HBCUs take diamonds from the sea islands and other underserved communities and they take those students and help turn those diamonds from roughness to valuable commodities,” Congressman Clyburn said.

Patton said he’s glad student debt is an issue politicians seem to be taken seriously now.

"It seems like people are hearing us now and candidates are really listening to the people and I'm excited to see where this goes," he added.

In response to Sen. Warren's visit to the state, the SCGOP issued the following statement:

“Elizabeth Warren is just another Democrat coming to town to play Santa Claus with taxpayer dollars. Instead of trying to solve the root problem of why college tuition continues to skyrocket, Warren is here to advocate for more subsidies for overpaid college bureaucrats and liberal professors - at the expense of South Carolina taxpayers.”

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