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Senate candidate Patrick Murphy jumps on student debt issue

Published Aug. 19, 2015

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Patrick Murphy appears poised to make relief for student debt a key issue in his campaign, just as several presidential contenders are also focusing on it. Murphy, 32, has friends struggling to pay off college debt, which is preventing them from opening businesses. He intends to not only to press to ensure future students can graduate debt-free, but fight to reduce the current crippling burden many recent graduates are facing.

"Too many Floridians are unfairly burdened with exorbitant student debt, weighing down their futures and our state's economy. Across America over 40 million people are weighed down by student debt, which now exceeds credit card debt as the single biggest financial obstacle for middle class families. Too many borrowers are unable to buy a home, start a family, or start a small business because of student loan debt," Murphy said.

"I have always supported efforts to make college more accessible and affordable for all Americans, and that's why I'm encouraged by Hillary Clinton's plan to make the steep cost of a college education more affordable. I have also heard from many Floridians — including friends my own age — who continue to struggle with existing student loan debt. In the Senate, I'll never stop fighting to make debt-free college a reality and to significantly reduce the crippling burden of existing student debt for my generation and future generations. Florida's kids deserve nothing less."

UPDATE: Murphy's Democratic rival, Alan Grayson, weighed in on the issue after Hillary Clinton releeased her plan earlier this month. Grayson's Aug. 10:

"Debt-free college is a fundamental progressive cause, and I'm delighted to see Hillary Clinton embracing it. No one should be excluded from higher education because of parental poverty, or the fear of lifelong debt. Education is what helps us to be all that we can be. I had to clean toilets and work as a night watchman when I was in college; I would rather see today's students devote themselves to learning."