The student loan reform legislation that's tied up in the Senate is one of those no-brainer obviously good-policy bills that you have to be a corporate-money beholden parochial stooge to oppose. Those stooges signed a letter of stoogedom.
The bill would end massive federal subsidies of private student loan sharks. The only arguments against it are some talking points about how this is a "government takeover of student lending" and also people are worried that Sallie Mae loan servicers may have to seek new work as street corner check cashers or something.
Six Senate Democrats signed a March 9 letter expressing concern that pending student loan reform "could put jobs at risk" and urging consideration of "potential alternative legislative proposals" that would deliver equivalent savings. They were Bill Nelson (Fla.), Ben Nelson (Neb.), Blanche Lincoln (Ark.), Thomas R. Carper (Del.) and Mark R. Warner and James Webb, both of Virginia, home to Sallie Mae. Ben Nelson, whose state is home to the major lender Nelnet, has expressed strong doubt about the overhaul.
God, which Nelson is the worst? It is hard to decide, sometimes. (It's probably Ben.)
Anyway, in order to avoid having to deal with these people, the Democrats now plan to package the student loan thing with the health care sidecar and pass it through "reconciliation," an arcane parliamentary procedure that only requires 51 votes and two drops of the blood of the Christian Founders.