Senate Republicans have blocked an election-year attempt by Democrats to let people refinance their student loan debt at lower rates.
The 56-38 vote Wednesday fell short of the 60 votes needed to proceed to debate on the measure.
The bill by Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts would have allowed people with student loans to refinance the debt at today's lower rates. The Obama administration said it could have helped some 25 million borrowers save $2,000 each.
Democratic Minnesota Senator Al Franken told Winona Radio News the bill would have helped 550,000 Minnesotans save money in repaying their debt.
Franken said he has talked with students forced to work while attending classes to make loan payments.
Republicans said the bill wouldn't have done anything to lower education costs or reduce borrowing. They accused Democrats of looking for a political issue and raising taxes.
The bill would have been paid for with the so-called Buffett Rule, which sets minimum tax rates for people making over $1 million.