The White House on Friday threatened to veto a GOP bill extending low interest student loans for a year as Republicans accused the president of "getting in the way" of students who desperately need help.
The Republican bill, which was passed by the House on Friday, would extend the current 3.4 percent federal student loan rate for another year. This action would prevent the rate from doubling to 6.8 percent on July 1 when existing legislation expires.
While the Obama administration is also in favor of extending the low rate, it issued the veto threat because it wants to pay for the bill a different way.
The House GOP proposal meets the estimated $6 billion cost of the extension by taking money out of what House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) calls a "slush fund" contained in the president's health care law.
However, the White House released a statement of administration policy Friday in which it argued the House bill was a "politically-motivated proposal" that would pay for the loan extension by eliminating critical funding for breast and cervical cancer screenings.
"If the President is presented with H.R. 4628, his senior advisors would recommend that he veto the bill," it said.
The administration has argued that a failure to come to an agreement would result in a $1,000 average increase for approximately seven million students currently receiving federal loans.
The student loan fight turned into a more heated political battle this week when Boehner accused the president of campaigning on the issue on the public's dime in key battleground states.
Boehner spokesman Mike Steel responded to the White House veto threat by accusing the president of "getting in the way" of students who need help.
"The president is so desperate to fake a fight that he's willing to veto a bill to help students over a slush fund that he advocated cutting in his own budget," he said.