Mitch McConnell: White
House Continues to Ignore GOP Student Loan Rate Solutions
June 6, 2012
U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch
McConnell made the following remarks on the Senate floor Tuesday
regarding the need for the President to work with Republicans on a
serious solution to rising student loan rates:
“I’d like to stick with the student loan issue this morning, because the
administration’s approach to this problem is nothing short of surreal.
“I have in my hand a letter that’s been signed by the top two
Republicans in the House, and the top two Republicans in the Senate. It
lists no fewer than four good-faith bipartisan proposals to resolve this
issue, drawing on ideas the President’s already shown a willingness to
support. We sent this letter to the President five days ago.
“Yet now we learn that the Vice President plans to have a group of
college presidents over to the White House today to ‘reassert the call
for Congress to stop the student loan interest rate from doubling.’
“Well, let me make a suggestion. Why doesn’t the Vice President just
pick up the phone, choose one of the proposals we laid out in our
letter, and then announce at this meeting that the problem’s been
“That way he’ll give these folks some good news to bring back to their
campuses, instead of just asking them to be props in this elaborate
farce the White House political team cooked up on this issue.
“Let me repeat what I said yesterday: the only people dragging their
feet on this issue are over at the White House.
“Republicans in Congress have been crystal clear for weeks: we’re ready
to resolve this issue–to give students the certainty they need about
their loan payments.
“The President may find it politically useful to keep these young people
off balance, but we don’t think they should have to wait another day on
this. And it’s inexcusable for the President to do so.
“That’s why we’ve bent over backwards to find a resolution.
that’s also why it’s completely absurd for the President or Vice
President to claim otherwise. Which brings me to a larger point.
“I realize the President’s concerned about his re-election. I understand
he’s placing a higher priority on fundraising and on trying to make
Republicans look bad as he ramps up for November.
“I get his rationale for running a negative campaign. If I were him, I
wouldn’t want to brag about my record either. But I would remind him
that’s he still President, that Americans are looking for leadership,
and that the economic problems we face will only get worse if he avoid
them for the next six months.
“So whether it’s the student loan issue or the prospect of a massive tax
hike at the end of the year, Republicans are ready to work with the
President to provide the kind of certainty that people need right now.
But it’s a two-way street. And we’ll never solve these problems if the
President continues to mislead the American people about what
Republicans in Congress are willing to do to help.”