House Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) and House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) today delivered a letter to President Obama encouraging him to work in a bipartisan manner to prevent student loan rates from doubling at the end of this month. With young Americans struggling to find work, bicameral Republican leaders last week proactively presented the President with multiple options for offsetting an extension of current, reduced rates. The President has not responded to that offer, yet he is scheduled to discuss the topic tomorrow at a taxpayer-funded rally at the University of Nevada-Las Vegas -- a rally Boehner and Cantor are urging the President to consider forgoing so they may instead work together toward a solution.
The text of today's letter is below, and a printable PDF version is available here.
Dear Mr. President:
Last week, we received a disappointing jobs report that showed far too many Americans are still struggling in this economy. Young people in particular have been hit hard, with only half of recent college graduates able to find full-time work. That's why we believe that the current, reduced rates for Stafford student loans should be extended for another year.
While the Republican-led House has already passed legislation to extend these rates, we sent you a letter, dated May 31, proposing additional savings that could be used to offset an extension. In an effort to find common ground, all of the options are recommendations from your own budget. With rates set to double at the end of this month, we had hoped this gesture would lead to a speedy resolution of the matter.
Unfortunately, we have not received any response from your administration. In fact, in public comments yesterday the Vice President and the Secretary of Education both seemed unfamiliar with the proposals we sent you. With all of the great economic challenges facing our country, there is no reason to manufacture political fights where there is no policy disagreement. That's why we cannot understand why you, without having responded to our latest offer, would schedule a campaign-style event in Nevada tomorrow to discuss student loan rates.
We urge you to consider cancelling tomorrow's Las Vegas rally and instead work with us so that we can extend these rates before they expire and stay focused on additional measures to help create jobs.
House Speaker John Boehner
House Majority Leader Eric Cantor