House Majority PAC launching first paid attack against Kline on student loans

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The campaign is the first paid attack from HMP this cycle, and the first attack on Kline, named as one of the PAC's top 10 targets for 2014.

Democrats believe Kline is vulnerable because his district became more favorable to Democrats following redistricting and split nearly evenly between President Obama and Republican Mitt Romney in 2012.

HMP is launching promoted Facebook posts, a promoted petition using the hashtag #StopScammingStudents and banner ads on local news sites calling for readers to sign a petition to tell the congressman to "stop scamming students."

And the super PAC will run an ad on Pandora internet radio, targeted to residents of Kline's district, that features an Eagan, Minn., mom lamenting the state of student loans.

"You know, I couldn't be more proud of my kids, but there's nothing easy about paying for college. It's why I'll never understand those guys in Washington, like Congressman Kline," the speaker says.

"Kline's trying to pass a law that could more than double the interest rate on college loans. Kline calls it a 'smarter solution.' Must be one of those things Congressman Kline learned from being in Washington for over a decade. In Eagan, Minnesota, we call it just plain stupid," she adds.

Student loan rates will double on July 1 if Congress doesn't provide a fix, and to prevent that outcome, Kline has sponsored a bill to tie student loan interest rates to market interest rates, which passed the House last month.

But Democrats opposed the bill, charging that it will increase borrowing costs for students. The issue featured prominently in attacks from the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee that ran in student newspapers in the states of a number of targeted Republicans, including Kline.

HMP Communications Director Andy Stone charged that the solution provided by Kline's bill was the wrong one.

“Minnesota families are struggling to afford skyrocketing college costs and John Kline’s solution is to more than double student loan rates,” he said. “No question, that’s the wrong fix but because of John Kline the fix is in for the students and families who will pay the price." 

National Republican Congressional Committee spokeswoman Alleigh Marré suggested Democrats were failing to address the problem by attacking Republicans.

"Rather than launching more partisan attacks, Democrats should be part of the solution, not the problem. With so many families struggling in this economy, there’s no reason for access to affordable education to become a partisan issue. This balanced compromise incorporates elements of the president’s own plan," she said.

--This post was updated at 8:02 a.m. to reflect comment from the NRCC.