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Senate Fails to Advance Bill to Help Borrowers Refinance College Loans

iStock/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama's frustration with lawmakers about ways to trim crushing student loan debt was exacerbated Wednesday when the Democratic-controlled Senate failed to advance a bill for debate that would allow borrowers to refinance loans at current low rates.

The tally was 56-38, four votes shy.

Earlier this week, Obama signed an executive order so that those who qualify could have payments on student debt capped at ten percent of their monthly salary. Furthermore, the government will forgive any outstanding balance if debtors have made 20 years of repayments.

However, the president said it was up to Congress to make real reforms to chip away at the student loan debt, which now exceeds $1.2 trillion.

Massachusetts Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren's bill, which would have been paid for by a tax on Americans making more than $1 million annually, was derided by Republicans as a political stunt.

GOP lawmakers said Democrats refused to work on real solutions to cut student loan debt such as creating more jobs for graduates and lowering college tuition costs.

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