In a live question-and-answer session with Tumblr founder David Karp, Mr. Obama called on Tumblr users to contact their senators and tell them to support the student loan legislation expected to come up for a vote this week.
The bill, put forth by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, Massachusetts Democrat, would allow many of the 40 million Americans carrying college debt to refinance their federal loans under today’s interest rates, potentially saving them hundreds or even thousands of dollars each year.
To make up for the money lost to the federal government, the legislation would raise taxes on wealthy Americans, and the president called on young people to lead the charge.
“I think everybody on Tumblr should be contacting their senators and finding out where they stand on the issue. By the way, this is something that will not add to the deficit because the way we pay for it is we say we’re going to eliminate some [tax] loopholes right now that allow millionaires and billionaires to pay lower rates of taxes than secretaries and teachers,” Mr. Obama said. “It would pay for itself. It’s a good piece of legislation. It directly affects folks in their 20s and 30s … particularly the young people who use Tumblr — this is something you should pay a lot of attention to. Make sure you are pushing your senators around this issue.”
On Monday, Mr. Obama took executive action and directed his Education Department to develop rules allowing more borrowers to cap their loan payments at 10 percent of monthly income.