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Rep. John Kline calls Obama student loan plan a ‘mistake’

Rep. John Kline, who chairs the House Education and Workforce Committee, slammed President Obama’s plan for student loan relief Monday as a “mistake,” saying it will do nothing to help workers looking for jobs.

Obama’s plan would let current students cap their monthly repayment at 10 percent of discretionary income and any unpaid amount would be forgiven after 20 years. It also allows some borrowers to consolidate their loans at a lower interest rate. The president issued the new student loan plan through an executive order that beefs up a current law regarding student loans.

“This administration has been bypassing Congress on issue after issue after issue — they’ve sort of famously issued hundreds of rule changes and executive orders to bypass Congress, so I think that’s a mistake,” Rep. John Kline said on Fox and Friends. Kline, who chairs the education committee in the House has been sharply critical of most of Obama’s education proposals since gaining the post in 2010.

Kline added that the government should stop subsidizing student loans altogether.

“We simply can’t keep providing money from the federal government in the form of subsidized or actual loans and Pell Grants when we don’t have the money,” Kline said.

Kline had previously put out a press release saying Obama’s plan puts “politics before policy.”

“Despite the administration’s rhetoric, this plan will not create a single job, strengthen our economy, or promote fiscal responsibility,” Kline said. “What this plan will do instead is encourage more borrowing across the board. That means more debt for students, more debt for taxpayers, and more red ink on the government’s books.”

The Minnesota Independent reported this summer on close ties between Kline and for-profit colleges. Kline fought regulation of that industry, which industry critics say siphons off public tax money through deceptive practices.

Private and for-profit educational institutions are the top donors to Kline’s campaign and political action committee. Kline’s campaign has also benefited from private financial corporations that provide student loans.

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