Roy Blunt Falsely Blames 'ObamaCare' for High Student Loan Rates
Earlier in the day on MSNBC, Andrea Mitchell allowed Sen. Roy Blunt to come on the air and tell this whopper:
If Congress doesn’t act, the interest rates on government-backed student loan will jump in July, so President Obama has made a big push this week to prevent that from happening. Republicans have thus far held up the extension, though presumed GOP nominee Mitt Romney called for preserving the lower rates Monday.
But Romney’s “man in Congress,” Sen. Roy Blunt (R-MO), seems to misunderstand the issue. In an interview on MSNBC this afternoon, Blunt blamed high student loan rates on the Affordable Care Act [...]
In fact, the rate was set back in 2007, when President Bush signed a Democratic-backed law to lower the rate from 6.8 percent to 3.4 percent. That law expires on July 1 of this year, and the lower rates end along with it. The Affordable Care Act and President Obama are entirely irrelevant.
Blunt is likely thinking of the Student Aid and Fiscal Responsibility Act (SAFRA), a bill that was attached to the Affordable Care Act. And while it did not affect loan rates, it did remove banker middlemen from the student loan process, which will save taxpayers millions of dollars.
Mitchell gave Blunt a complete pass when he made that statement during her show, and Ed Schultz was ready to call him out for lying before he even got on the air this evening on MSNBC. He played part of the interview on his radio show shortly after it aired and vowed to do more reporting on it during the evening, which is exactly what he did in the segment above. Rep. George Miller joined Ed to discuss Blunt's statement to Andrea Mitchell and how the Republicans are proposing to pay for the reduced interest rates now.
Here's more on that from Ed Kilgore -- House GOP Tries New Gambit on Student Loans:
Given today’s publicity over student loan indebtedness reaching a cool trillion dollars (see Daniel Luzer’s post on this at College Guide), and Mitt Romney’s earlier undercutting of their position, it’s not surprising that House Republicans are signalling that they, too, will support extending current interest rates for student loans.
But there is, of course, a wrinkle, per Politico’s Jake Sherman:
To avoid adding to the debt, Republicans will try to take money from a public health prevention fund in the Democrats’ 2010 health care law. Senate Democrats are aiming for a separate mechanism to offset the price tag of the extension. And that could set up a showdown between the two bodies and the president during this hotly contested election year.
In their usual hammer-headed way, House Republicans will try to combine one popular position (extending current student loan interest rates) with another (gutting ObamaCare). They are counting on no one much noticing that the element of ObamaCare they are raiding in this particular maneuver is funding for the one health care reform everyone claims to support: a stronger focus on preventive health care.
Roy Blunt Is The Most Crooked Member Of Congress This Year!!!
Since 2005, CREW (Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington) has put together a report on the Most Corrupt Members of Congress every year. It's a crowded field, what with Rangel up on ethic charges and Vitter and his diapers, but one name did rise to the top:
Roy Blunt is a candidate in the Republican primary for the United States Senate in Missouri. For the last 14 years, Rep. Blunt has served in the U.S. House of Representatives in the state’s 7th congressional district. As a member of Congress, Rep. Blunt came under fire for a variety of issues including employing the same corrupt tactics that forced his mentor, former Texas Rep. Tom DeLay, to resign. Rep. Blunt’s ethical issues were documented in CREW’s 2006 report on the most corrupt members of Congress.
In 2003, Rep. Blunt divorced his wife of 31 years to marry Philip Morris (now Altria) lobbyist Abigail Perlman. Before it was known publicly that Rep. Blunt and Ms. Perlman were dating – and only hours after Rep. Blunt assumed the role of Majority Whip – he tried to secretly insert a provision into Homeland Security legislation that would have benefitted Philip Morris, at the expense of competitors. Notably, Philip Morris/Altria and its subsidiaries contributed at least $217,000 to campaign committees connected to Rep. Blunt from 1996 to 2006.
Also in 2003, Rep. Blunt helped his son, Andrew Blunt, by inserting a provision into the $79 billion emergency appropriation for the war in Iraq to benefit U.S. shippers like United Parcel Service, Inc. and FedEx Corp. Andrew Blunt lobbied on behalf of UPS in Missouri, and UPS and FedEx contributed at least $58,000 to Rep. Blunt from 2001 to 2006.
Family connections have also helped another of Rep. Blunt’s sons, former Missouri Governor Matt Blunt. Gov. Blunt received campaign contributions from nearly three dozen influential Missouri lobbyists and lawyers when he ran for governor of Missouri in 2004, half of whom had provided financial support to his father. Earlier in 2000, when Matt Blunt was running for Secretary of State, Rep. Blunt was involved in an apparent scheme, along with Rep. DeLay, to funnel money through a local party committee into Matt Blunt’s campaign committee.Rep. Blunt and his staff had close connections to convicted former lobbyist Jack Abramoff. In June 2003, Mr. Abramoff persuaded then-Majority Leader DeLay to organize a letter, co-signed by then-Speaker Dennis Hastert, then-Whip Blunt, and then-Deputy Whip Eric Cantor, which endorsed a view of gambling law benefitting Mr. Abramoff’s client, the Louisiana Coushatta, by blocking gambling competition by another tribe. Mr. Abramoff had donated $8,500 to Rep. Blunt’s leadership PAC, Rely on Your Beliefs.
There are nine others in the report, which includes Democrats Kendrick Meeks and Alvin Greene, "Independent" Charlie Crist and Tea Party favorites Marco Rubio and JD Hayworth.
Roy Blunt just says no to covering adults with pre-existing conditionsBy John Amato Monday Apr 12, 2010 6:00pm
Roy Blunt, who was tapped to head the GOP Health Care Task Force said that if an adult has preexisting conditions then they shouldn't be covered. That proves the point Alan Grayson made when he said---don't get sick and die quickly...OK, you know what I mean.
Blunt: ...but access for adults who've done nothing to take care of themselves, who actually will have what I have described every incentive not to get insurance until the day you know you're going to have medical expenses, that's a very different kind of story.
How does Roy Blunt and the Republican party draw the line when people are considered to be "taking care of themselves?" Is he going to have regulations that tell people how to live? The health care industry would love to have a whole host of rules that a person would have to follow before they would be eligible to be covered. Most people don't get sick, but when they do they need health care. If they can't buy it when they need it then what good is our health care industry?