Marco Rubio Will Defer Your Student Loans, but Only If You Survive a Terrorist Attack

Michael Brochstein/Zuma

Let our journalists help you make sense of the noise: Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily newsletter and get a recap of news that matters.Who needs student loan forgiveness when you can have your payments deferred for one year, with no decrease in total debt, so long as you’ve survived a terrorist attack?
Today, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) reintroduced legislation, called the Terrorism Survivors Student Loan Deferment Act, which would do just that. He said in a press release, “Giving survivors some time to regroup by delaying their student loan payments is just commonsense.” It’s also the bare minimum.
As my colleague Hannah Levintova wrote yesterday, canceling student debt is one broad policy that won’t disproportionately benefit wealthy households. Just the opposite: The authors of a new study “found that at each proposed level of cancellation—$10,000, $50,000, or the $75,000 proposed last year by the Roosevelt Institute—those with the least net worth would see the biggest benefit.”
In case you were wondering, per the proposed legislation, “a victim of a terrorist attack is an individual who is designated as a victim of a terrorist attack by the head of the Federal agency that is handling the investigation of the attack.”
The FBI defines terrorism as “violent, criminal acts committed by individuals and/or groups to further ideological goals stemming from domestic influences, such as those of a political, religious, social, racial, or environmental nature.” In other words, if you survived a bombing or a mass shooting perpetrated by someone with no particular motive, well, tough luck.