On Friday, Obama told the America people that he had instructed the Department of Homeland Security to take steps to prevent mass deportation of illegal aliens under the age of 30 who had been brought here as children.
Such legislation has many Americans worried about increased competition for an already scarce number of available jobs.
Rather than pass legislation to remove regulations and promote growth in the private sector, Obama has essentially allowed the addition of several hundred thousand workers to a job market that was already scarce in terms of prospects.
Even worse, the new policy has many college students worried, and also angry about Obama’s indifference to the high unemployment rate for college graduates.
As Congress returns to Washington this week, there are several important pieces of legislation coming up for consideration and for youth voters, one issue stands out above the others.
On July 1st, federal student loan rates for college tuition are scheduled to double from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent.
For a while, President Obama made preventing the student loan rate hike a top priority in his administration, referring to the issue as a “no-brainer.”
He and Vice President Biden spoke at a number of college campuses, preaching his message that college is absolutely vital to success in America. In a campaign speech at the University of Nevada- Las Vegas, he proclaimed, “Higher education can’t be a luxury; it’s an economic necessity.”
President Obama also used a Twitter hashtag campaign to help get his message across. He created the hashtag #Don’tDoubleMyRate in an effort to raise more support for his proposal.
But in order to pay for the $6 billion it will cost to prevent the loan rate from doubling, President Obama has a proposal that essentially raises taxes on small businesses.
This proposal has been viewed as unacceptable by top Republicans, who rejected the offer, but countered with a proposal to pay for the cost of the adjusted student loan rate by removing preventative healthcare sections from Obama’s health insurance legislation.
After Obama rejected their initial offer, Congressional Republicans recently submitted separate proposals that do not remove portions of the new healthcare law, including options such as increasing federal employee retirement contributions or limiting the length of certain education subsidies
Both Mitt Romney and Barack Obama believe the rates should not double, but the issue at hand is whether or not the President and Congress can find common ground on how to pay for the resulting costs.
But for all of the rhetoric President Obama has put forth about protecting American college students, his focus seems to have drifted since his initial speeches.