Candidates for a central and southern Illinois seat in Congress disagree over how to solve the student debt crisis. Ann Callis, a Democratic challenger in the 13th District, says a retired public defender she met is a good example of why the laws need to be changed to allow refinancing. “She kept on working as a public defender, with a lower and lower and lower lowering of what she was paid in her income. And because her income was so low, she was able to defer her student loan debt,” Callis said. “Looking toward her retirement years, she had an enormous amount: about a quarter of a million dollars in debt.”
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Callis is taking on incumbent U. S. Rep. Rodney Davis (R-Taylorville), who blames Senate Democrats for rates increasing last year. “They were forced to address this issue immediately upon their return” after a July 2013 recess, he says. “I think the senator and his colleagues realized that they can't play politics with student loans.” Playing politics is what Davis is accusing U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Callis of doing; they held a news conference in Edwardsville hours after a bi-partisan celebration to break ground on a railroad project in Springfield. Davis says the events did not belong on the same day.