Obama Campaigns on Student Loans

Rate cut set to expire July 1 would double interest on some loans

   

investorpoliticsletters2 Obama Campaigns on Student LoansPresident Barack Obama spoke today in North Carolina about an issue near and dear to a core part of his base: student loan interest rates.

The president has begun a three-state tour, starting today in North Carolina and moving on to Colorado and Iowa to put pressure on Congress. Obama said that if Congress does not act to extend a student loan interest rate cut by July 1, the rates on 7.4 million loans could double.

This follows similar rhetorical moves by Obama on behalf of the payroll tax cut extension and the Buffett Rule: hit back at Congress when it is slow to tackle — or refuses to implement — policies the president supports.

The trick to getting a interest rate cut on student loans extended is the $6 billion cost of the program. The White House and Congress have been working together to determine a way to pay for this program.

One interesting fact to note: while a senator, Obama missed two votes on the student loan interest bill he’s now looking to extend. The votes, which took place in 2007, occurred at a time when Obama was facing a rough primary campaign and missed a large number of votes. Several White House officials did point out the bill passed with broad bipartisan support and that his vote was not needed to pass the bill.

Benjamin Nanamaker, InvestorPlace Money & Politics Editor

The opinions contained in this column are solely those of the writer.

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