Get the day’s best political analysis, news and reporting from the TPM team delivered to your inbox every day. In 30-60 seconds, you’ll be first to see TPM’s best stories of the morning and caught up on what to expect for the day ahead.
Kicking off a two-state bus tour about college affordability at the University of Buffalo in New York on Thursday, President Barack Obama characterized a Republican effort to defund Obamacare as a distraction from economic issues that matter to students and the middle class.
"I've got to say it's not always Washington's highest priority," Obama told students in Buffalo. "Because rather than keeping focus on a growing economy that creates a good middle-class jobs, you know, we've seen a faction of Republicans in Congress suggest that maybe America shouldn't pay its bills that have already been run up, that we should shut down government, if they can't shut down Obamacare."
"That won't grow our economy," he continued. "That won't create jobs. That won't help our middle class. We can't afford, in Washington, the usual circus of distractions and political posturing. We can't afford that right now."
Obama is proposing a new plan that would rate colleges based in part on affordability, with the goal of eventually linking those ratings to federal financial aid awards, the Associated Press reported Thursday. Some parts of the proposal would also require action from Congress.