(CNN) – With less than a month to go before rates jump on some student loans, Republicans are returning pressure from the White House on whose plan is better to avert the spike.
Rep. Luke Messer, R-Indiana, accused President Barack Obama in the weekly Republican address of rejecting a House Republican plan on political grounds, saying the president himself had proposed a similar measure in his annual budget.
“His maneuvers are yet another example of the arrogance of power that has taken root in this administration, and it prevents us from addressing the people’s priorities,” Messer said.
In a Rose Garden event last week, Obama urged students and recent grads to apply pressure on congressional Republicans to adopt his own plan to avoid the rate increase.
But Republicans argue that Obama basically agrees with their approach, which would tie the student loan rate to economic factors instead of leaving it up to Congress.
“Taking the politics out of student loans is a commonsense fix. It’s a plan that mirrors a proposal in President Obama’s budget,” Messer said Saturday.
“Unfortunately, rather than seize this common ground and move the ball forward, the president resorted to campaign-style tactics, stepped out into the Rose Garden, and denounced the plan,” he added.
Differences between the two sides involve when the rate on a loan gets locked in, with Obama calling for it to happen right away while the House measure would allow it to rise until a student graduates.
Another difference concerns maximum rates.
The House measure would cap interest rates at 8.5% for student loans while the Obama proposal would contain no such cap but would include a program to limit a former student's annual expenditures on the loan to no more than 10% of discretionary income.
In his event last week, Obama criticized the House GOP proposal as "not smart" and "not fair," saying it would increase the burden on middle- and lower-income families to pay for a college education.
CNN's Kevin Liptak and Tom Cohen contributed to this report.