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Amelia Talks College Student Loans With Obama Officials

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MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – WCCO-TV’s Amelia Santaniello certainly had a whirlwind couple of days in Washington, D.C.

That’s right, when the White House invites you for a visit, they sure keep you busy. Santaniello spent two full days in the nation’s capitol, with the highlight coming Tuesday as she had a 1-on-1 interview with President Barack Obama.

The president invited WCCO-TV as part of his strategy to get attention for his American Jobs Bill. It’s a bill he said will help the failing economy, but does not have much support in Congress.

One of the fun and unexpected things was meeting “Bo, the First Dog.” He was a really well-behaved dog with all the camera attention and strangers wanting to pet him.

Santaniello was also able to talk with three different members of the Obama administration. The topics ranged from mortgage rates to homeland security.

And she took some email questions from viewers straight to Education Secretary Arne Duncan. We asked specifically about the high interest rates on college student loans during this difficult economy.

“What we’ve done is significantly reduce those loan payments by a couple hundred dollars a month. The President is doing this without waiting on Congress.  We can’t wait. Folks need relief now. And putting a couple hundred dollars each month back in people’s pockets to pay the rent, or buy the car, or pay the electricity bill, or groceries is hugely important,” said Duncan.

According to Duncan, the President’s plan will cap monthly student loan payments at 10 to 15 percent of a graduate’s income.

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