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Mr. Speaker, banks offer car loans at a 3.99 percent interest rate. Banks also offer 30-year fixed mortgages on home with an interest rate of 3.8 percent. Student loans are currently at 3.4 percent, but if we donít do something, itís going to jump to 6.8 percent.

It seems to me Congress can handle this and do something about it. Recent reports show that 50 percent of recent graduates from college are unemployed or underemployed.

I received an email from a Kingwood Park High School student today named Derek encouraging Congress to do a commonsense thing: to put the student loan rate at 3.4 percent. Why donít we do that?

The student loan debt has reached a trillion dollars. Why would we want to strap students going into college with more debt by increasing the student loan rate in this current economic climate?

You can get a car loan rate very low. In fact, you can get some car loans with 0 percent, but not so with students. Why is that? We should maintain low interest rates for student loans.

Cars and homes are important, but students going to college are an investment in our future. Education is an important tool for our young people to be able to contribute to Americaís competitiveness worldwide. Also, the bill is paid for. Some of the money thatís coming out of this unconstitutional health care mandate will go to deficit reduction.

We need to support our students and encourage young people to go to college, not discourage them by increasing their student loan rates because of politics. This is a commonsense idea. Extend the student loan low interest rate, and we should do it today.

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