WASHINGTON — The Obama administration on Tuesday brushed off a recent Republican proposal to pay for the $6 billion extension of the reduced-rate student loan program, which expires July 1.
Addressing reporters, Vice President Joe Biden said the White House was open to listening to offers but suggested that he did not take the GOP offer seriously, adding that he thought Republicans were playing games.
GOP House leaders last week sent the president a set of proposals to cover the cost of the extension that included increasing the amount paid by federal employees for their retirement and limiting the ability of states to recoup Medicaid costs through taxes on providers.
"We're not going to trade off student loans for other vital, vital programs," Biden said after meeting with 10 college presidents to discuss an administration effort to increase transparency in the information students receive on loan packages.
Both the administration and GOP leaders want to freeze the interest rate at the current 3.4 percent and avoid an average fee hike of $1,000 per student when the rate doubles to 6.8 percent. But the two sides remain deadlocked over how to pay for the plan.