ABC News Spins: GOP 'Perfectly Content' to Watch Student Loan Rates Double

July 9th, 2013 1:10 PM

ABC News’s John Parkinson parroted liberal talking points on student loan rates Monday, claiming the GOP “seemed perfectly content to watch rates double” while Democrats prepped a Wednesday vote in the Senate to keep rates at 3.4 percent.

In an online article, Parkinson pitted the “unrelenting” Democratic Party against a gleefully partisan GOP, apparently buying into Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Nancy Pelosi’s (D-Calif.) vicious attacks on Republican lawmakers over the issue.

The interest rate on federally subsidized Stafford loans doubled on July 1, from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent, affecting millions of college students across the nation. Both Republicans and Democrats have pointed fingers across the aisle throughout the debacle, attempting to blame the rate hike on the opposing party.

But you wouldn’t get that idea from Parkinson, whose article characterized the issue as largely one-sided. The reporter charged the GOP with not caring about the rate hike:

...since the showdown gave them [the GOP] an opportunity to criticize Democrats for inaction and delay.

House Republicans passed their own student loan bill back on May 23, which would “tie loan rates to the interest rate on a 10-year Treasury note, plus 2.5 percentage points.” The Hill’s Molly Hooper asserted the plan “was similar to one offered by President Obama in his annual budget proposal.” Senate Democrats want to keep the rates at 3.4 percent, rather than tie the interest to Treasury notes.

According to Parkinson, though, it’s Democrats that are hard at work and Republicans who are kicking their feet back and playing the blame game.

Parkinson’s coverage heavily favored Democrats as well, with the reporter citing three Democrats (Reid, Pelosi, and White House press secretary Jay Carney) and only one Republican, House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) in the story. Parkinson devoted seven paragraphs to Democratic quotes, and only two to Boehner.

See the full article here.