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U.S. Senator Tina Smith Announces Senate Passage of Bipartisan Bill to Ensure Minnesotans Aren’t Forced to Pay Ex-Spouses’ Student Debt

WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Tina Smith (D-MN) announced that legislation she co-led to provide relief to individuals with consolidated loan debt with a spouse – including victims of domestic violence and financial abuse – has taken a major step towards becoming law. The billwould allow individuals to sever joint consolidation loans with a former spouse, which will provide long overdue financial freedom for vulnerable individuals who are being unfairly held responsible for the debt of a former partner.  While Congress eliminated the program to allow spouses to consolidate their loans in 2006, it did not provide a mechanism for severing existing loans, leaving thousands of people forced to pay the students loans of their former partners.  These loans also locked married couples out of federal programs to provide loan forgiveness for teachers, firefighters, and other public servants.  “It’s not fair for Minnesotans to be left on the hook for the students loans of a former spouse.  Survivors of domestic violence and financial abuse should not be tied to their abuser by student loans,” said Sen. Smith. “Sixteen years ago Congress ended a misguided loan program, but it did nothing to allow those who already had these loans a fair and appropriate way to cut ties. This bill will allow individuals to sever their joint consolidation loans that links them to a former partner – an especially important step for victims of domestic abuse.  I am pleased to announce the passage of this common sense bipartisan legislation in the Senate, and

Sen. Tina Smith’s Bipartisan Bill to Stop Unscrupulous Big Pharma Tactic, Lower Drug Prices for Minnesotans Takes Key Step Forward

WASHINGTON, D.C. [6.14.22] – Today, U.S. Senator Tina Smith’s (D-MN) legislation—the Expanding Access to Low Cost Generic Drugs Act—was included with bipartisan support in a major funding bill. The legislation takes aim at a Big Pharma tactic that keeps affordable generic drugs out of the hands of Minnesota families and seniors. “Since I came to the Senate, taking on big pharmaceutical companies and lowering prescription drug prices has been a top priority for me.” said Sen. Smith, a member of the Senate Health Committee. “That’s why the first bill I ever introduced addressed a loophole that big pharmaceutical companies exploit in order to force Americans into buying overpriced drugs. It’s a commonsense measure with bipartisan support—because really, unless you’re the CEO of a big drug company, you shouldn’t be opposed to this idea. I’m thrilled that it has taken this critical step forward.” Sen. Smith’s bill gets at the heart of a major concern facing Minnesota families and seniors right now: prescription drug prices. Around 25 percent of Americans who take prescription drugs report difficulty affording them. And while generic drugs are often a much less expensive alternative to name-brand drugs, giant drug companies pay money to keep those generics off the market—an anti-competitive tactic called “parking.” Parking happens when a brand-name manufacturer agrees not to sue the first company to create a generic version of that drug—a so called “first filer”—if the generic company agrees to delay bringing that drug to market. The Expanding Access to Low Cost Generic

Klobuchar, Smith Recognize the Tenth Anniversary of the Enactment of the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act

WASHINGTON- U.S. Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith (both D-MN) introduced a resolution recognizing the tenth anniversary of the enactment of the Paul Wellstone and Pete Domenici Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act (MHPAEA). The MHPAEA ensures that health insurance companies don’t impose less favorable limitations on mental health or substance abuse use disorder benefits than on medical or surgical benefits, and in so doing greatly expanded Americans’ access to treatment for mental illness. “Paul Wellstone was a crusader, an inspiration and a friend. He was a passionate champion for those suffering from mental illness, always fighting for better care,

U.S. Sen. Tina Smith: Year-Round Sale of E-15 Fuel Will Help Farm Economy in Minnesota, Nationwide

WASHINGTON, D.C. [10/09/18]—U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, said her continued push to jump-start the beleaguered farm economy by expanding the use of ethanol in the nation’s fuel supply is now bearing fruit, as the Trump Administration has responded to her call to allow year-round sales of E-15 gasoline. Earlier this month, Sen. Smith, in a letter to the President and his top farm and trade officials, pushed the Administration to take several steps to help farmers and ranchers in Minnesota and across the country who have been hit hard by years of low

U.S. Sen. Tina Smith Seeks Young Minnesotans Interested In Attending a U.S. Service Academy

MINNESOTA [10/15/18]—U.S. Sen. Tina Smith’s (D-Minn.) office is now accepting applications from young Minnesotans interested in attending one of the nation’s four service academies, including the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the U.S. Naval Academy, the U.S. Air Force Academy, and the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. In order to attend a service academy, candidates must be nominated by a member of Congress, or other applicable nominating source. Applications are due by 5 pm on Friday, October 26.  “As Senator, I am proud to be able to nominate talented Minnesotans to our four U.S. Service Academies, where they can prepare to be future leaders in our nation’s military,” said Sen. Smith. “I’m happy to assist

U.S. Sen. Tina Smith: “The Urgency of Passing a Strong Farm Bill is Very Clear”

WASHINGTON, D.C. [10/24/18]—This week, U.S. Senator Tina Smith (D-Minn.), a member of the Senate Agriculture Committee, told top House-Senate Farm Bill negotiators that producers in Minnesota and across the country are hurting from low farm prices and trade uncertainties, and highlighted the need to pass the Farm Bill by the end of the year. Sen. Smith said the Farm bill will provide certainty for producers, and will give them the tools to deal with low prices and jump-start the farm economy in Minnesota and our nation. In a letter sent yesterday to Chairman Sen. Pat Roberts, Ranking Member Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Chairman

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