Senator John Walsh, last week, criticized those who blocked the Bank on Students Emergency Loan Refinancing Act, which would have directly benefited more than 81,000 Montana college students, recent graduates and thousands of families across the state. Walsh issued the following statement:

“The Senate had an opportunity to provide college students, graduates, and their families with some relief from the crippling burden of tuition debt so Montana's young people can be part of a growing economy full of good-paying jobs.

"Instead, the measure fell short as a handful of Senators stood with the special interests rather than the students. The failed leadership of a few will hurt Montanans and I am committed to continuing the fight on behalf of working families.

"This shameful display from Washington, D.C. will not stop me from the fight Montanans asked me to lead in reforming the student loan system - making college affordable for Montana students and families."

In Montana, the average college graduate will face more than $26,000 in tuition-related debt.