By Maggie Vancampen — 

Two Kentucky congressmen visited the Brandeis School of Law Feb. 20 to talk privately about life as a Kentucky representative in Washington. The Cardinal was allowed to attend the off-the-record event.

In an interview afterward, Congressman James Comer (R-KY) said his favorite memory of Congress so far is riding in Air Force One with President Donald Trump from the veterans rally Aug. 21, 2019.

“He invited me to ride in his private office on our way back,” Comer said. “Senator McConnell and I and Trump were alone for over an hour.”

Once they had landed at Andrews Air Force Base, Trump offered Comer a seat on the marine helicopter Trump planned to use to fly back to Washington D.C.

When asked about student debt, Comer thinks it is immoral, but taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for eliminating the debt.

“There are a lot of people that, in my generation, and people that I’m friends with that have put their kids through school that worked hard and did without and paid for their tuition,” Comer said. ” Its a terrible issue, it’s terrible what I see kids graduating from colleges with respect to student loan debt.”

Comer said if students are going to carry all this student debt, they need to be graduating with a valuable degree.

“A lot of people that are graduating from college with excessive amounts of student loan debt have worthless degrees,” Comer said.

“The easier it has become for students to get student loans, the more the universities have jacked tuition rates up,” Comer said. He said universities should be held accountable for the student loan debt issue.

Congressman John Yarmuth (D-KY) said one of his favorite memories in Congress is playing golf with former President Barack Obama and winning three dollars. The dollars and score card are currently hanging in his office.

Yarmuth said he favors cutting the graduate student loan interest rate from 6.8 percent to three percent.

“The government shouldn’t be profiting off student loans,” Yarmuth said. “We can easily cut the interest rate to three, three and a half percent, and government would still make money. But it would be a big relief I think to student loan debt.”

Yarmuth said this is a difficult issue because of the question of equity and satisfying people who have already paid off their loans.

Photo credit by Tom Fougerousse//University of Louisville