During a visit to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, President Barack Obama on Thursday will urge Congress to stop student loan interest rates from doubling in July, White House officials said.
If Congress fails to act, 7.4 million students will see their interest rates rise.
Both Republicans and Democrats think the loan rates should not be doubled from the 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent and agree the current rates should be extended for at least another year. But the two sides cannot agree on how to pay for the $6 billion bill.
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., on Tuesday called the standoff an "elaborate farce the White House political team cooked up on this issue."
The White House rejected the charge. "President Obama knows that this isn't a 'phony' issue for the millions of hardworking middle-class students and their families who will be hit with the equivalent of a $1,000 tax if Congress doesn't do its job and work together on a solution to keep rates low," White House officials said Tuesday in a statement.
Before coming to Las Vegas, Obama plans to sign a presidential memorandum to direct his administration to take new steps to provide information about repayment options and access to those options to help students make their payments, White House officials said.
For example, income-based repayment would cap borrowers' monthly payments based on their ability to pay, they said.
Obama's visit Thursday to Las Vegas will be his 10th to Nevada since he became president in January 2009.
Contact Laura Myers at email@example.com or 702-387-2919. Follow @lmyerslvrj on Twitter.