CNN's Cuomo Calls Out House GOP, Tries to Shame Congress Into Lowering Student Loan Rates

CNN's New Day continued its advocacy for Congress to "fix" student loan rates, on Tuesday and Wednesday, instead of asking why the House and Senate differ on the solutions and addressing the larger debate about rising tuition costs.

Co-host Chris Cuomo lectured House Republicans in particular. "The Republicans say education matters also," he called out the GOP on Tuesday's New Day. When co-host Kate Bolduan noted that the House GOP passed a bill in May indexing student loan rates to Treasury note rates, it wasn't good enough for Cuomo. "I know. But I mean, look at the rates. You've got to put the rates back, right?" he insisted.

CNN's shallow advocacy ignores another argument on the issue – that lower loan rates might actually hurt students by subsidizing colleges and universities and thus encouraging them to hike tuition costs. CNN did not address this debate however, but simply begged Congress to "fix" the rates by making them lower.

Cuomo didn't specifically critique the Senate Democrats' plan to keep the loan rate at 3.4 percent for another year. He did, however, have some words for the House Republicans' tying the rates to Treasury notes.

"But you know what the representatives should do? Keep a tie to the 10-year Treasury just like a home mortgage but make the interest deductible like you do with a home mortgage. Show that it's a priority for the next generation. It's a big deal," he lectured the House.

He also warned the House not to treat students like "some other borrower":

"The House wants to tie student loan rates to the 10-year Treasury, just like home mortgages. But what are you hearing about pressure to do the right thing by students? By advantaging them, not just treating them like some other borrower, anything?"

Correspondent Erin McPike paddled Congress for not fixing the rates:

"Right now, about 7 million students who take out federally subsidized student loans will see their interest rates jump from 3.4 percent to 6.8. And Congress could do something right now to stop this. But instead (cricket noise) they're bickering."

Cuomo lamented that "not only they [Congress] are not advantaging students, they're disadvantaging students. It just doesn't make any sense." He added that Congress was making the issue "a political football. These kids' futures, all these families' hopes for their kids, this is what you fight over?"

Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro
Matt Hadro was a News Analyst for the Media Research Center's News Analysis Division from 2010 through early 2014