Fact check: What does Grandma know about student loans?
A new ad from Senate Majority PAC says Thom Tillis is "sticking it" to young people, making them pay more to repay college loans. The new spot references the Republican state House speaker's opposition to legislation defeated in the U.S. Senate this summer.Posted — Updated
The Democratic-backing group is spending $1 million to air the ad over the next 10 days across North Carolina, according to spokesman Ty Matsdorf. Senate Majority PAC is a so-called Super PAC, able to raise and spend unlimited money from wealthy donors but prohibited from coordinating directly with candidates.
Matt opens the commercial with some claims that should be familiar to anyone paying attention to the race between Tillis and U.S. Sen. Kay Hagan, the Democratic incumbent.
For the purposes of this fact check, we're setting aside the Medicare claim and are more interested in what Grandma has to say.
"Did you know Tillis won't support a bill to let students refinance their college loans? So, you're going to pay more," says Grandma. "Yup. Tillis is sticking it to you, too."
"The bill has many glaring issues, like the fact it significantly increases the national debt, doesn’t make college more affordable and does nothing to create jobs for the millions of recent graduates who are unemployed because of the failed economic policies of Kay Hagan and President Obama," Tillis wrote.
"Thom knows firsthand what it’s like to not be able to afford college, having spent years working before he earned his degree," said Tillis spokesman Daniel Keylin. "Thom opposed the bill because it was a political stunt which added to the national debt and did nothing to make college more affordable or help college graduates find jobs after graduating."
It's worth noting for both sides of the argument that Tillis' opposition was immaterial to the bill's fate. While as state House speaker, Tillis controls the flow of legislation in his chamber, he had no influence over the movement of this bill.
However, Grandma is overstating Tillis' influence over this bill when she tells her grandson Tillis' opposition means "you're going to pay more." Tillis may be opposed to the bill, but as a state level official, he had little to no say in the matter. As with the Medicare claim, it's hard to say what Tillis' position is on student loans, but to say he's actively "sticking it" to anybody on this point is a stretch and earns the ad a yellow light.
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