Kline dings Obama’s student loan changes

WASHINGTON – Congressman John Kline, who’s the Republican chairman of the House Education and Workforce Committee, has come out guns blazing against President Obama’s newly-unveiled plan to reduce student loan payments for college grads with low incomes.

Calling the plan “politics before policy,” Kline suggested the Obama Administration focus on job creation rather than on the growing burden of student debt for many recent graduates.

“What this plan will do instead is encourage more borrowing across the board,” said Kline in a statement issued by his House committee. “That means more debt for students, more debt for taxpayers, and more red ink on the government’s books.”

Under Obama’s plan, which he can implement without congressional approval, low-income graduates would pay 10 percent of their discretionary income on loan repayments for the next 20 years, down from 15 percent of their income over 25 years under a prior incarnation of the program.

Kline has also criticized Obama in recent months for circumventing Congress by allowing states to apply to the Education Department for waivers from the No Child Left Behind Act. Kline’s committee is proceeding slowly with a series of bills to reauthorize the Bush-era education law but the Obama Administration has argued in offering the waivers that the committee’s pace was too slow for many school districts across the country.

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