#dontworkwithRepublicans

Thursday afternoon, President Obama traveled to the University of Nevada Las Vegas to discuss student loans. The president made quite the spectacle, in a campaign-style rally, of urging Congress to action: namely, to stop interest rates on certain federally backed student loans from doubling — from 3.4 to nearly 6.8 percent — on July 1. He also encouraged students to take to Twitter with the hashtag #dontdoublemyrate.

But while Obama blamed Congress (and implicitly, Republicans) for a lack of action, in a preemptive press conference Thursday morning in Washington, House Speaker John Boehner said it was the White House that was unnecessarily politicizing the issue, manufacturing a political fight where there is no policy disagreement. He called on the president to cancel his appearance at UNLV and “work together with Congress on fixing the student-loan issue” instead. This echoed a letter House Republican leaders had sent to Obama the previous day, urging him to forgo the rally and come to the table to discuss “good-faith, workable” solutions. “The House has already passed reasonable, responsible legislation to stop the student-loan rate hike — the Democratic-led Senate has not,” it said.

Maybe the president’s deliberate stalling on loans, and go-to move of blaming Republicans for inaction, made for a good fundraising gimmick. As the Washington Times notes, the speech on student loans at UNLV is Mr. Obama’s only “official business” on a two-day trip that also includes five campaign fundraisers in California. And mixing business with campaigning allows the White House to split the cost of the trip between the president’s reelection campaign and the taxpayers, rather than having his campaign fund pay for the entire trip.

Meanwhile, the clock is ticking down to July 1. 

Most Popular

Culture

Courage: The Greatest of Virtues

EDITOR’S NOTE: The following is Jonah Goldberg’s weekly “news”letter, the G-File. Subscribe here to get the G-File delivered to your inbox on Fridays. Dear Reader (Or Listener), As the reporter assigned the job of writing the article about all of Sidney Blumenthal’s friends and supporters told his ... Read More
Immigration

My American Dream

This morning, at 8 a.m., I did something I’ve wanted to do for as long as I can remember: I became an American. I first applied for a visa in early 2011, and since then I have slowly worked my way through the system — first as a visa-holder, then as a permanent resident (green card), and, finally, as a ... Read More
U.S.

The Gun-Control Debate Could Break America

Last night, the nation witnessed what looked a lot like an extended version of the famous “two minutes hate” from George Orwell’s novel 1984. During a CNN town hall on gun control, a furious crowd of Americans jeered at two conservatives, Marco Rubio and Dana Loesch, who stood in defense of the Second ... Read More