Boehner decries Obama, Senate Democrats on student loan inaction

June 20, 2013 at 2:19 PM
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WASHINGTON, June 20 (UPI) -- U.S. House Speaker John Boehner Thursday ripped Senate Democrats and President Obama for not acting to prevent federal student loan rates from doubling July 1.

"If Senate Democrats don't act in the next 10 days, interest rates on student loans for millions of American students will double," Boehner said during a media availability. "This morning, I sent a letter to President Obama and asked him for something I thought pretty simple, some leadership."

Boehner said Obama has been talking about this issue "and he hasn't lifted a finger to push his own party to pass his own proposal. The time for games is up. I think our kids deserve better."

"The president and Senate Democrats need to get their act together so that we can prevent these interest rates from doubling on July 1st," Boehner said.

On May 31, Obama urged Congress to act to prevent federal college student loan interest rates from rising July 1.

A similar situation occurred last year led to a bipartisan measure that delayed the increase for a year.

The Republican-controlled House of Representatives passed a GOP bill that would let interest rates rise and fall based on the market. The White House has threatened to veto that bill should it reach his desk and Obama said the bill was neither smart nor fair.

"It fails to lock in low rates for students next year. That's not smart," Obama said in his May statement. "It eliminates safeguards for lower income families. That's not fair."

In his letter to Obama, Boehner said the differences between the House measure and his solution "are minor."

"Unfortunately, they cannot be resolved if Senate Democrats refuse to even accept our shared approach and the need for a long-term solution," Boehner said.

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