Despite only being in Washington for one year, Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren has led the democratic charge on a whole range of progressive issues, from the defense of social security to an increase in scientific funding. I sat down with the freshman senator with the rest of the Globe editorial board today, and over the course of the hour-and-a-half long conversation, two things became abundantly clear.
First, despite her seemingly shortsighted grandstanding on certain issues, she is in for the long haul on the issues she is passionate about, and second, she will work every angle to get the job done. Nowhere is this more clear than in her work to reform student loans. This summer she fought tooth and nail to preserve low interest loans to college students, going so far as to buck party leadership by voting against a bi-partisan bill that raised the interest rate charged on federal student loans, but by a much smaller rate than Republicans wanted. The move won her both supporters and enemies, but she said that part of her plan was to lay the groundwork for future reform. “Student loan debt will still be on the table,” she said.
During this process she was able to make some alliances, but most of them have been within her own party, including ties with senator Mark Begich from Alaska and Jack Reed from Rhode Island. It remains to be seen whether this work will pay off next time the issue comes up for a vote, but if it does, then it will be a huge victory for both Warren and recent college grads alike.
[Photo credit: Joshua Roberts/Reuters]