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Romney Backs Extension Of Student Loan Relief

Mitt Romney on Monday endorsed the idea of extending a law that curbs interest rates paid by some recipients of federal student loans, a cause that President Obama has made a campaign issue.

"Particularly with the number of college grads that can't find work or that can only find work well beneath their skill level, I fully support the effort to extend the low interest rate on student loans," Romney told reporters before a campaign event in Aston, Pa., NPR's Ari Shapiro reports.

"I support extending the temporary relief on interest rates for students as a result of student loans in part because of the extraordinarily poor conditions in the job market," Romney said.

Obama is scheduled to talk about student loan interest rates Tuesday during visits to the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill and the University of Colorado, Boulder, and Wednesday during a visit to the University of Iowa in Iowa City. North Carolina, Colorado and Iowa are all important swing states in the general election.

"This is a question of values," Obama said in his weekly radio address on Saturday. "We cannot let America become a country where a shrinking number of people do really well, while a growing number of people struggle to get by."

Without congressional action, interest rates on subsidized federal Stafford loans for undergraduates would double on July 1, from 3.4 percent to 6.8 percent. In 2007, Congress voted to temporarily cut the rate, and that cut expires in July.

Copyright 2012 National Public Radio. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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