Crossroads GPS targeting vulnerable Dem senators on student loans

Crossroads GPS, the nonprofit arm of GOP strategist Karl Rove's American Crossroads, is targeting four vulnerable Democratic senators on student loans with new Facebook ads charging that the senators are politicizing the issue while the Senate fails to act.

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The group is spending $50,000 on a week of ads attacking Sens. Mark PryorMark PryorCotton pitches anti-Democrat message to SC delegation Ex-Sen. Kay Hagan joins lobby firm Top Democrats are no advocates for DC statehood MORE (Ark.), Mark BegichMark BegichRyan's victory trumps justice reform opponents There is great responsibility being in the minority Senate GOP deeply concerned over Trump effect MORE (Alaska), Mary LandrieuMary LandrieuFive reasons the Trump campaign is in deep trouble Louisiana gov: Trump helped 'shine a spotlight' on flood recovery Giuliani: Trump 'more presidential' than Obama in Louisiana visit MORE (La.) and Kay HaganKay HaganClinton's lead in NC elevates Senate race Democratic National Convention event calendar 10 Senate seats most likely to flip in 2016 MORE (N.C.) on the issue, all vulnerable red-state Democrats who've come under fire from Crossroads before.

"While even President Obama and the majority of House Members agree on a long-term bipartisan plan to give America's college students relief on their student loans, Sen. Begich voted to put partisan posturing ahead of getting a broadly supported deal done," the ad reads.

It charges that the senator "is holding your future hostage," and that they "broke with moderate Senate colleagues" to help block reform.

"Instead of acting to provide a practical solution to student loan rates, Sen. Begich voted to leave students at the mercy of crass Washington gamesmanship," the ad continues, and urges viewers to call their senator.

Though the Republican-controlled House passed a measure to prevent current student loan rates from doubling on July 1, the Senate was unable to follow suit as their work on immigration reform consumed much of their time before the July 4 recess.

A Democratic-backed fix failed in the upper chamber on Wednesday, unable to gain any Republican support. Senate Republicans are backing a measure sponsored by Sens. Angus KingAngus KingObama creates new national monument in Maine Reid: Dems could force Senate vote on Garland Clinton touts slew of new GOP endorsements MORE (I-Maine) and Joe ManchinJoe ManchinEpiPen maker defends price hike: ‘I’m running a business’ Senator responds to criticism of daughter's EpiPen company The Hill's 12:30 Report MORE (D-W.Va.) that's similar to the House-passed legislation, but Senate Democrats remain largely opposed to the bill.

Crossroads GPS Communications Director Jonathan Collegio suggested the blame lies on the shoulders not just of Democratic senators who remain opposed to the House bill, but of Senate Majority Leader Harry ReidHarry ReidDems' Florida Senate primary nears its bitter end Trump haunts McCain's reelection fight 10 most expensive House races MORE (D-Nev.).

"The message here is that not only did Senators Pryor, Begich, Landrieu and Hagan screw up by effectively supporting a massive rate hike on college students, but Harry Reid screwed up by making his members walk the plank on incredibly amateur strategy," he said.

"Harry Reid exposed his caucus to the wrath not only of college students, but of local editorial pages and citizens who value common sense above all. The Senate needs to pass the House plan without delay."

The hike in loan rates has been used as a political bludgeon by both sides in recent weeks, with Democrats charging that the Republican fix would ultimately result in higher loan rates for students.

The potential political fallout of rising rate hikes helped Congress pass a fix last year, amidst a presidential race and urging from both Obama and Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, but the path forward this year remains murky.

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