President Barack Obama brought his college tour to the University of Iowa today where he talked about student loan interest rates. A group of students clad in black and gold Hawkeye gear stood behind the president as he opened his speech with a football reference.
“There is some good hospitality here, and I should know. I’ve spent a little time here in Iowa, spent a little time here in Iowa City. I’m glad my hometown of Chicago will get to return the hospitality when your football team kicks off its season at Soldier Field,” OBama said in reference to Iowa’s September season opener against Northern Illinois.
Obama then got to his message calling on the students to help him lobby Congress to keep student loan interest rates from doubling in July.
“Congress needs to act right now to prevent the interest rates on federal student loans from shooting up and shaking you down. That’s where you come in,” Obama said.
Student loan rates would move from 3.4% to 6.8% if no action is taken. The Democrat president addressed comments from the spokesman for the Republican Speaker of the House who said the president is traveling to universities to talk about the student loan issue to take the focus off the poor economic conditions.
“Now think about that for a second, because these guys don’t get it. This is the economy, this is the economy,”Obama said. He continued speaking over cheers from the students,”This is about your job security. This is about your future. If you do well, the economy does well, this is about the economy.”
Obama closed his remarks with asking the University of Iowa students to get on social media and put the pressure on their congressmen to vote to keep the student loan interest rates down. “Because we’ve got to keep the heat on Congress until this gets done. I need your help to do it. I need you to be heard, I need you to be counted,” Obama explained.
“Now is not the time to double the interest rates on our student loans. Now is not the time to double interest rates, now is the time to double down on strong investments that build a strong middle class. Now is the time to double down on building an America that’s built to last.”
Obama also said during his speech that universities have to continue working to make college more affordable and that state government and state lawmakers have to provide enough funding to the schools. It was the third college campus Obama has visited in the last two days.
Audio President Obama’s speech. 32:00