Tags: obama | politics | student | loans

Messer: Obama is Playing Politics With Student Loans

By    |   Saturday, 08 Jun 2013 01:24 PM

Republican Rep. Luke Messer on Saturday accused President Barack Obama of rejecting a House Republican plan to tie student loan rates to economic factors for political reasons.

"His maneuvers are yet another example of the arrogance of power that has taken root in this administration, and it prevents us from addressing the people’s priorities," Messer said in Saturday's GOP weekly address. Obama had proposed a similar measure in his annual budget, Messer said.



But in a Rose Garden address last week, the president urged students and graduates to keep applying pressure on Republican lawmakers to adopt his own plan and avoid an upcoming rate increase, reports CNN.

Republicans say their plan would tie the student loan rate to economic factors, and not leave rates up to Congress, a plan Obama agrees with for the most part.

“Unfortunately, rather than seize this common ground and move the ball forward, the president resorted to campaign-style tactics, stepped out into the Rose Garden, and denounced the plan,” Messer said.

The plans differ because of differences between when the two sides say the interest rates on student loans should lock in. Obama says the rates should lock in right away, when the money is borrowed, while Republicans want them to keep rising until the student graduates.

The two sides also differ on maximum rates. The House wants to cap interest rates at 8.5 percent, while the Obama proposal has no cap, but includes a program to limit a student's loan paybacks to no more than 10 percent of his or her discretionary income.

Messer said in Saturday's address that he would not have been able to go to college without scholarships, grants, loans, and odd jobs.

“What makes this country great is that my story is not exceptional,” he continued. “Every year, millions of American students see their career dreams begin with the help of federal student financial aid.”

However, he pointed out, in July 1, student loan rates are to double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent, a move that the House acted to stop in an attempt to reduce rates and keep politicians out of setting interest rates.

“Taking the politics out of student loans is a common-sense fix,” he said.

But Democratic senators, he said, "tried to take the easy way out and maintain the status quo, which will only hurt students in the long run. Our young people deserve better. Student loan relief is just one example of the solutions Republicans have put forward to get our economy back on track.”

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Republican Rep. Luke Messer on Saturday accused President Barack Obama of rejecting a House Republican plan to tie student loan rates to economic factors for political reasons.
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2013-24-08
Saturday, 08 Jun 2013 01:24 PM
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