GOP Rep. Virginia Foxx and Sen. Richard Burr criticized student loan relief in a recent opinion piece.
They wrote that the debt cancellation plans are just a way for Biden to win midterm votes.
Biden recently said a decision on student loan relief would be made in the coming weeks.
President Joe Biden appears to be moving ever closer to broad student loan relief, and Republicans aren’t holding back on what they think.
Last week, top GOP members of the House and Senate Education Committees — Rep. Virginia Foxx and Senator Richard Burr — wrote an op-ed for Fox News criticizing the continued pause on loan payments. students, as well as potential student debt forgiveness plans. . As they have argued in the past, the two lawmakers said there was no need to continue providing relief to student loan borrowers as the pandemic subsided, that it would cost taxpayers and exacerbate inflation.
“By caving in to progressives, he breaks his promise to the over 100 million student debt-free taxpayers who subsidize this mess,” Foxx and Burr wrote.
“Desperate times call for desperate measures, and Uncle Joe is banking on leftist ideologues to save Democrats from a disastrous midterm election, taxpayers be damned,” they added.
Biden told reporters following a speech last week that while he was not considering providing $50,000 in relief for each federal borrower — an amount many progressives have called for — he would make a decision on any broad student loan forgiveness in the coming weeks. It comes after he extended the pause on student loan repayments for the fourth time in early April, until August 31, under pressure from Democratic lawmakers but against intense backlash from Republicans.
As Insider previously reported, the GOP has become increasingly vocal on student loan relief. Foxx has consistently expressed concerns about the economic impact of continuing to suspend payments, citing the $150 billion cost the pause has had so far, and colleagues like Sens. Mitt Romney and Tom Cotton called the debt cancellation a “bribe” to buy midterm votes.
Student debt cancellation would be popular with voters. A recent Data for Progress poll found that if Biden fulfilled his $10,000 student loan forgiveness campaign promise, 45% of respondents would be somewhat or much more likely to vote in key battleground states.
And a number of Democratic lawmakers have warned of defeat at the polls if Biden does not act on student debt – Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren recently told the LA Times that canceling student debt was one way key for Democrats to attract young voters.
“The idea that young people today should be chained to debt just to try to get an education so they can try to compete is fundamentally wrong,” Warren said.
For now, it’s unclear what relief Biden will eventually implement — recent reports suggest he’ll be closer to $10,000 in pardons with income thresholds — but Republicans have made it clear they believe that any additional relief was a bad idea.
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