President Obama will urge Congress to halt an upcoming hike in student loan interest rates during an event with college students at the White House on Friday, White House Press Secretary Jay Carney said Wednesday.
“While we welcome that House Republicans have paid some attention to this issue this year, their proposal unfortunately does not meet the task,” Carney said at the White House press briefing. “The president will call on Congress to pass a solution that truly helps keep college affordable for middle class families and students.”
Unless Congress takes action, seven million college students will see a doubling of the interest rate on federally subsidized Stafford loans on July 1 when the rate jumps from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. Last week, House Republicans pushed a plan that would link student loan rates to the market and would fluctuate each year. The administration has threatened that the president would veto such a plan, and instead, the president is proposing linking rates to the market but setting a cap on the entire rate for the life of the loan instead of having it change each year.
Obama waged this same fight against the doubling of student loan interest rates last year, often taking to the campaign trail to make his case. He signed an extension of the rates into law last summer.
This post has been updated.