The first debate in the nationally watched the 8th congressional district race between U.S.
Rep. Joe Walsh (R-McHenry) and Democratic challenger Tammy Duckworth the featured the incumbent saying that he would allow the student loan interest rate
to double this summer.
The current 3.6 percent rate will automatically double on July 1, unless Congress and President Barack Obama take action. Duckworth -- and the majority of Democrats and Republicans -- have called to extend the 3.6 percent rate, though how to pay for the extension is in dispute. But Walsh says that the issue is only of focus because Obama wants the votes of college students. Walsh contends that students will save $7 a month by keeping the rate at it current 3.6 percent, but that the national deficit would grow $6 billion.
Also during the debate, Duckworth blasted Walsh's support of a GOP-written budget that passed the U.S. House last week. The budget includes cut for Medicare and other social service programs.