Covering Washington politics. From our vantage point. One day a time.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Will College Students Decide The Next Election?

Suffice it to say, the Obama election in 2008 was partly successful thanks to the millions of young people who voted for him.

This time around, will he garner the same support?  Or will those same young people, many of the college students, side with the Republicans even though they voted against the president's effort to keep college loan rate from increasing on July 1st?

"It is extremely disappointing that Republicans in the Senate today voted to ask millions of students to pay an average of $1,000 each in order to protect a loophole that allows millionaires to dodge payroll taxes", said White House press secretary Jay Carney.

With millions of college students already unable to find work after college, the recent blow for students who must begin to pay back student loans - with no paycheck - is seemingly too much to digest at one time.

President Obama made several stops last week at college and high school campuses, campaigning for Congress to lower student loan rates.

"It’s now to the point where the average student who borrows to pay for college graduates with about $25,000 worth of debt -- $25,000", President Obama said at a high school in Arlington, Virginia. 

The Democratic bill, "Stop the Student Loan Interest Rate Hike Act of 2012," under President Obama, would have kept interest rates for subsidized Stafford loans at 3.4 percent for an additional year, rather than doubling automatically for new loans starting July 1.

But it seems Congress wouldn't budge, again, and in a vote of 52-45, short of the eight votes needed to begin debating the legislation, the effort remains at a standstill even though Congress claims they don't want student rates to increase.

"But unfortunately, rather than find a bipartisan way to fix this problem, the House Republicans are saying they’re only going to prevent these rates from doubling if they can cut things like preventive health care for women instead", the president said.

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