Education Secretary Arne Duncan on Tuesday urged the Senate to overhaul student lending, asserting that the banking industry has had "a free ride from taxpayers for too long" and that executives with lending giant Sallie Mae have enriched themselves as borrowers rack up college debt, reports the Washington Post.

"Working Americans pay while bankers get rich," Duncan said in a prepared statement. "Sallie Mae executives have paid themselves hundreds of millions of dollars in the last decade while teachers, nurses, and scientists -- the backbone of the new economy -- face crushing debt because of runaway college tuition costs."

Duncan's unusually pointed...

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    staff and wire services reports