(WASHINGTON) — Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., voted against taking up a version of the student loan bill offered by Senate Democrats and defended his vote by discussing the student loans he is still trying to pay off.
“I think I am one of the only senators here who still has a student loan,” Rubio said in a paper statement. “As someone with a student loan and with a state with so many people with student loans, I support a hundred percent making sure that the interest rates on student loans do not go up. I cannot support the way the Democrats want to do it, however, because, they want to do it by raising taxes on small businesses, very small businesses. The kinds of small businesses that give jobs to graduates who not only need low-interest rates but need jobs in order to pay their student loans.”
According to financial disclosures, Rubio’s Sallie Mae loan totals between $100,000 and $250,000.
Rubio, who attended the University of Florida and the University of Miami’s law school, published an op-ed piece Tuesday discussing the need to maintain current student loan rates. In it, he described how access to student loans provided him with the opportunity to attend college and law school.
During an interview with National Journal’s Major Garrett last month, Rubio joked about how at the age of 40, he is still making student loan payments.
“I still have a student loan by the way. I pay a lady named Sallie Mae every month,” Rubio said to laughter in April.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio