President Obama chastised congressional Republicans' plan to pay for a freeze in student loan interest rates on Friday, saying the lawmakers are unfairly pitting students' interests against women's health care.
"The House Republicans are saying they are only going to prevent these rates from doubling if they can cut things like preventive health care for women," Obama told a crowd of high school students and parents at Washington-Lee High School in Arlington. "We shouldn't have to choose between women having preventive health care and young people keeping their student loan rates low."
The president asked the Virginia students to contact their congressional representatives and urge them to approve a freeze on the student loan rates, which are set to rise on July 1 if lawmakers fail to act.
"[House Republicans] want you to pay an extra $1,000 a year for college," Obama told the crowd. "No, no. That doesn't make sense. In America, we admire success."
House Republicans support freezing the interest rate, but want to make up for the lost revenue by cutting a health care fund that is part of Obama's health care reforms. Hitting a recurring campaign theme that Republicans are waging a "war on women," Obama said Republican lawmakers are targeting funds for women's health care.
Obama returns to Virginia Saturday for an rally intended to officially kick off his reelection campaign.