WASHINGTON – Saying he was wrong to once support legislation that hurt workers who defaulted on student loans, Sen. Marco Rubio today introduced a bill with Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Warren to prevent states from suspending professional licenses from borrowers who are delinquent.
"Difficulty repaying a student loan debt should not threaten a graduate's job. It makes no sense to revoke a professional license from someone who is trying to pay their student loans," Rubio said in a news release with his liberal colleague. "Our bill would fix this 'catch-22' and ensure that borrowers are able to continue working to pay off their loans."
B While in #Florida legislature I voted for a bill that allowed state to suspend professional licenses of those who defaulted on student loans. I WAS WRONG. Today I filed a bill with @SenWarren to fix this. How can they pay back if they can’t work? #Sayfie https://t.co/fcbJUkJ6BJ— Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) June 14, 2018
The Protecting Job Opportunities for Borrowers (Protecting JOBs) Act "would prevent states from suspending, revoking or denying state professional licenses solely because borrowers are behind on their federal student loan payments," according to the release. "The bill achieves this goal by using the same statutory structure that requires certain members of the Armed Forces receive in-state tuition as a condition of the states' colleges and universities receiving certain federal funds under the Higher Education Act."
Said Warren: "State governments punishing people struggling with student loans by taking away drivers' and professional licenses is wrong. These policies don't make sense, because they make it even harder for people to put food on the table and get out of debt. I'm glad to work with Senator Rubio to make sure borrowers can work to pay off crushing debt and build a future."
Rubio carried heavy student loan debt into his Senate career and used proceeds of a book deal to pay that off.