McConnell chides Obama for politics of ‘deflection and distraction’

Obama will deliver another campaign-style speech on Thursday urging Congress to extend the current 3.4 percent student interest rate on Stafford loans. If Congress does not act, the rate is set to double on July 1. Both Republicans and Democrats have expressed a desire to extend the rate, but have yet to agree on how to pay for an extension.

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House Republicans passed legislation that extends the rate by taking money from a preventative care fund in the Obama administration's healthcare reform law. Democrats want to extend the rate by closing so-called loopholes on S-type corporations, but have not passed legislation that would do that.

"So you can understand our surprise upon learning this morning that the president plans to call on Congress later today to do something about student loan rates," McConnell said. "The Republican-led House of Representatives has already passed a bill that would solve this problem."

More recently, Republicans submitted a letter to Obama and Democrats listing a number of counterproposals for extending the interest rates.

McConnell said Democrats have refused to take up those proposals. 

"It is actually the Democratic-led Senate that has failed to act, and the president who has failed to contribute to a solution, and the reason is pretty obvious," McConnell said.

Obama's speech, McConnell said, is just another example of the president trying to distract from other issues like the economy.

"As for the president, well, this is just another sad example of his election-year strategy of deflection and distraction. College graduates are struggling to find work and pay their bills in the Obama economy," McConnell said. "He’d like them to believe it’s somebody else’s fault.

"Latinos are struggling with high unemployment. He’d like them to think Republicans are the problem," McConnell continued. "Middle-class moms are struggling to make ends meets. He wants them to think we’re engaged in some phony war on women."