(Updated at 2:05 p.m.) President Obama visited Washington-Lee High School in Arlington today, continuing his push to get Congress to act on legislation that would prevent federally subsidized student loan rates from doubling on July 1.
The president met with privately for a round table discussion with several students before addressing an enthusiastic crowd of Washington-Lee juniors, seniors and parents in the school gymnasium.
After opening remarks that included riffs on prom and the school’s upcoming graduation, the president began making the case for keeping student loan rates low.
“You guys shouldn’t have to pay an extra thousand dollars [per year] just because congress can’t get it’s act together,” President Obama said, adding that providing an affordable college education for students helps the economy.
The president encouraged students to speak out about student loan rates, suggesting they Tweet their representatives in Congress with the hashtag #DontDoubleMyRate.
“I guarantee you, members of Congress — they pay attention,” President Obama said. “Your voice can make a difference.”
“Teach them how to Tweet,” the president added, motioning to the parents in the room.
The president concluded his remarks by saying that the students in the room were part of a generation that will change the world.
“I believe in you,” Mr. Obama said, to wild applause. The president then spent about 10 minutes shaking hands with students before departing the building.
This was President Obama’s fifth official visit to an Arlington public school during his first term in office. School officials said they could not recall any visits from his predecessor, President George W. Bush.
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