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Politics blog: Kind talks Benghazi, student loan debt during Platteville stop

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Ron Kind

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Posted: Monday, May 12, 2014 2:12 pm | Updated: 2:25 pm, Mon May 12, 2014.

PLATTEVILLE, WIS. -- Ron Kind does not believe a new congressional committee will unearth any new information about a 2012 attack on the American diplomatic mission in Benghazi, Libya, that resulted in the deaths of four Americans.

Neither does Kind believe those seeking more answers will ever receive the news they desire.

Kind, the Democratic U.S. House member who represents southwest Wisconsin, was pressed on the incident by a constituent during a public input session Monday at the University of Wisconsin-Platteville's student center.

Dan Bohlin, of Stitzer, Wis., expressed his disappointment that Kind recently did not vote in favor of a U.S. House measure to create a new committee to further investigate the 2012 attack.

"I think this is going to be another partisan witch hunt," Kind said. "We had countless committees and investigations to look into this. I'm not sure what the select committee is going to do other than feeding some red meat out there.

"We've had so many investigations already -- the House, the Senate, the Department of Defense, the Inspector General."

Bohlin took exception to Kind labeling the House committee a "witch hunt."

"It is not a witch hunt," Bohlin said after the event. "It's an attempt to get to the truth."

Kind said he believes people still searching for answers on the attack are only doing so to fit their predisposed beliefs of what happened.

"You’ve been waiting for an answer that fits a certain narrative, and I'm not sure it exits," Kind said to Bohlin. "(Those people asking questions) have been getting answers over and over and over."

Speaking on the UW-Platteville campus, Kind touted legislation he has introduced to address student loan debt. The nation's students now carry more than $1 trillion in loan debt, which is higher than credit card and auto loan debt and second only to mortgage loan debt, according to a recent report from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

A student attending Monday's public input session also asked Kind if Congress is taking action on the issue.

Kind said his plan would stop the government from profiting off student loan interest, allow students to refinance their loans, change the interest rate to match the low rates set by the Federal Reserve and allow for a higher tax deduction.

"I don’t want this to be the next economic bubble waiting to go off," Kind said. "For students wanting to purchase a home or a car, this debt is a big hole for them."

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