President Obama on Friday will call on Congress to prevent student-loan interest rates from doubling, the White House announced, saying a Republican plan to keep costs down “does not meet the test.”
Obama spokesman Jay Carney said the president would join college students at the White House, hoping to stoke an issue featured prominently on the campaign trail in 2012.
“While we welcome that House Republicans have paid some attention to this issue this year, their proposal unfortunately does not meet the test,” Carney said.
Republicans countered that GOP lawmakers had already put forward a proposal to keep interest rates down for students.
“It’s obvious that the White House would love nothing more than to change the subject from its growing list of scandals, but scheduling this PR stunt reeks of desperation,” said Brendan Buck, a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner. “Picking a fight out of thin air where there’s policy agreement isn’t going to get the White House out of trouble, and it certainly doesn’t do anything to help students facing a looming rate hike.”
Without a new law, Stafford student-loan rates would double to 6.8 percent on July 1. Lawmakers avoided such a rate hike last year when they struck a last-minute compromise.