GOP: Don’t blame us for tuition rate hike
By GEOFF HOLTZMAN
Talk Radio News Service
WASHINGTON - The top Republican in the Senate fired back Monday against allegations that congressional Republicans have no plan to prevent a scheduled increase in federal student loan interest rates.
Speaking on the Senate floor, Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said not only has his party put forth a plan, but it is one that has already been passed.
“For weeks, President Obama’s been running around ginning up college students and late-night television audiences over an impending interest rate change on college loans — pointing the finger at Republicans,” McConnell said. “But…House Republicans passed a bill weeks ago that would have preserved current rates, and late last week, Speaker Boehner, Leader Cantor, Senator Kyl and I sent a joint letter to the president proposing multiple solutions to the problem that were thoughtfully and carefully designed to gain the president’s support.”
The GOP measure that cleared the House last month proposed covering the cost of a rate freeze by cutting a preventative health plan that was featured in Obama’s healthcare law. Knowing full-well that the particular offset had no chance of being approved, GOP leaders wrote to Obama last week, asking him to consider a 1.2 percent increase in the amount that federal employees pay toward their pensions.
Previously, Obama touted that idea as part of a broader deficit reduction strategy.
McConnell today accused Obama of creating a false straw man for the purpose of gaining election year support.
“I couldn’t help but notice the President is on a fundraising blitz in Manhattan today. And no doubt it’s easier to walk into these events when you’ve got a good piece of fiction to sell about Republican obstructionism. But the President’s campaign rhetoric is increasingly at odds with reality. On the student loan issue, at least, it’s Republicans who’ve been working on a solution, and the President who’s been totally AWOL.”
Absent congressional action, the rates on Stafford loans will double — from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent — on July 1. The administration says that 7.4 million current or former college students will be impacted should their rates go up. The estimated price tag of keeping the current rate in place is $6 billion.
Short URL: http://reportergary.com/?p=25243