NRCC hammers Democrats on student loan rate hikes

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The National Republican Congressional Committee is charging that the Democrats targeted voted against a "common-sense proposal" to prevent student loan rates from doubling, which passed the House but faced a veto threat from President Obama.

“Mike McIntyre (D-N.C.) should be ashamed of himself,” said NRCC Communications Director Andrea Bozek in a release sent out in McIntyre's district. “He and Washington Democrats would rather play politics with our young people’s futures, than give them an opportunity to succeed.”

The NRCC is also targeting Reps. Ami Bera (Calif.), Raul Ruiz (Calif.), Patrick Murphy (Fla.), John Barrow (Ga.), William Enyart (Ill.), Ann McLane Kuster (N.H.), Peter DeFazio (Ore.) and Jim Matheson (Utah) on the vote.

The GOP bill in question would tie student loan rates to market rates, but would allow them to vary after students take out the loan. Obama proposed a similar fix in 2012, but the president's proposal mandated that rates remained fixed after students took out the loan.

That and other differences informed Obama's veto threat, and Senate Democrats have introduced their own plan to prevent rates from rising.

But the hike in loan rates has been used as a political bludgeon by both sides in recent weeks, with Democrats charging that the Republican fix would ultimately result in higher loan rates for students.

The potential political fallout of rising rate hikes helped Congress pass a fix last year, amidst a presidential race and urging from both Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, but the path forward this year remains murky.

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