President Obama today begins a two-day tour of college campuses in three battleground states — North Carolina, Colorado, and Iowa — in which he will press Congress to extend the 2007 law that keeps interest rates on student loans at a lower rate of 3.4 percent. If Congress doesn’t extend this lower rate, rates will double on July 1 to 6.8 percent.Hard to argue with that, right? Even Mitt Romney endorsed President Obama's position. Yet Republicans just can't help themselves:
Republicans on Capitol Hill noted that then-Senator Obama seemed to make the lower interest rates for student loans a lower priority.On the face of it, that's a stupid attack: the bill passed overwhelmingly, by a 79-12 margin; his vote was irrelevant. And it's not like he was goofing off: Obama was running for president. If his vote would have made a difference, he would have returned to D.C. to cast it—but it didn't.
When the bill came up for final passage on September 7, 2007, then-Senator Obama did not vote; he was campaigning for president in California and Oregon.
Moreoever, every single one of the 12 no votes in the Senate were cast by Republicans. The same thing was true in the House, where a majority of Republicans voted against the measure. Even if you fault Obama for missing the vote, at least he didn't try to kill the bill.
Yet John Boehner's press shop keeps piling on:
“It seems not much has changed,” said Brendan Buck, spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio. “Five years ago, just like today, the President put campaigning before governing. As a result, 50 percent of new graduates can’t find full-time employment in this economy.”Sure enough, Boehner was among those who voted no on the bill. And he's not supporting it now.