Obama Touts Victory on Student Loan Rates, Infrastructure Funding

AP Photo/Susan Walsh

After months of casting himself as a warrior president battling a stubborn Congress, President Obama is claiming a victory in what he describes as an ongoing political war.

In his weekly address, Obama hails passage of bipartisan legislation that extends federal student loan rates and funding for infrastructure projects around the country, saying it will "make a real difference in the lives of millions of Americans."

He signed the bill into law on Friday at the White House, effectively keeping thousands of construction workers on the job and preventing loan rates from doubling on more than 7 million students.

Obama credited his persistence, and public pressure he helped to leverage, with making the difference. "For months, I've been pushing Congress to pass several common-sense ideas," Obama said of his efforts to boost the economy. "But make no mistake: we've got more to do."

The president urges lawmakers to take up his other economic proposals, which he has dubbed his "to do list," including additional infrastructure spending and higher education financial aid reforms.

House Speaker John Boehner said Friday that the spending bill "cuts red tape, gives states more flexibility and … has no earmarks whatsoever," and he praised the benefits to students and the underemployed.

But Boehner chided the president for blocking approval of the Keystone XL oil pipeline as part of the deal, calling it a "missed opportunity" to create jobs.

Obama taped his address from Boardman, Ohio, which he visited Thursday on the first day of his campaign bus tour through the industrial Midwest. He's spending the weekend with his family in Camp David.