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Twenty-two Republican governors on Monday sent a letter to President Joe Biden urging him to withdraw his student loan forgiveness plan.
In the document, obtained by Business Insider via the Republican Governors’ Association, the governors, including Ron DeSantis of Florida and Greg Abbott of Texas, say Biden’s plan ‘rewards the rich and punishes the poor’ and should not be pushed. further away.
“As governors, we support making higher education more affordable and accessible to students in our states, but we fundamentally oppose your plan to force American taxpayers to pay off student loan debt from a elite,” the letter wrote, adding that the cost of the plan will be “a price the people of our states cannot afford.”
The letter added, “Shifting the burden of debt from the wealthy to working Americans has a regressive impact that hurts low-income families.”
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“College may not be the right decision for all Americans, but for students who took out loans, it was their decision: capable adults and willing borrowers who knowingly agreed to the terms of the loan and agreed to go into debt in exchange for taking classes,” the governors continued.
“A high-cost degree is not the key to unlocking the American dream — hard work and personal responsibility are,” the letter read. “For many borrowers, they’ve worked hard, made sacrifices, and paid off their debt. For many others, they’ve chosen hard work and a paycheck over more education and a loan. Americans who don’t ‘have not chosen to take out student loans themselves should certainly not be obligated to pay the student loans of others.
“Even economists in your own party oppose your plan to increase demand and increase inflation,” they claimed. “Rather than tackling rising tuition fees for higher education or working to lower interest rates for student loans, your plan kicks things off and compounds today’s problems. today for the students of tomorrow.”
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The letter ended with the governors declaring that Biden lacks “the authority to exercise unilateral action to usher in a broad plan to cancel student loans.”
Governors involved in drafting the letter have signed their names below the text. Governors were Abbott, DeSantis, Kim Reynolds (Iowa), Doug Ducey (Arizona), Brian Kemp (Georgia), Mike Parson (Missouri), Chris Sununu (New Hampshire), Kevin Stitt (Oklahoma), Bill Lee (Tennessee), Mark Gordon (Wyoming), Kay Ivey (Alabama), Asa Hutchinson (Arkansas), Brad Little (Idaho), Greg Gianforte (Montana), Doug Burgum (North Dakota), Henry McMaster (South Carolina), Mike Dunleavy (Alaska ), Larry Hogan (Maryland), Pete Ricketts (Nebraska), Mike DeWine (Ohio), Kristi Noem (South Dakota) and Spencer Cox (Utah).
RELATED VIDEO: Biden administration to forgive up to $20,000 in student debt for borrowers based on income and type of grant
Last month, Biden announced that non-Pell Grant borrowers would see up to $10,000 in student loan debt forgiven if they earned less than $125,000 a year. Pell Grant recipients are eligible for a waiver of up to $20,000 if they meet the same income requirements.
Married couples must earn less than $250,000 per year combined to qualify for loan forgiveness.
In announcing his plan, Biden also extended the student loan payment pause one last time through the end of the year, sharing that borrowers should expect to resume payments in January 2023.
$10,000 to $20,000 is a far cry from the $50,000 forgiveness — or full cancellation — some were calling for, but a win for Americans nonetheless, as millions have struggled to pay their bills, even in light of the student loan pause that began in March. 2020.
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The idea of only offering student loan forgiveness to borrowers below a certain income level seems to try to make the plan fairer by ensuring that limited funding goes to those who need it most. – although anyone who exceeds the maximum salary threshold is certainly unhappy. Offering a larger amount to Pell Grant recipients is another way the Biden administration is targeting those with greater financial need.
Canceling student loans was a major talking point among Democrats in the 2020 presidential primary, and following up on some form of debt cancellation was seen as a critical step Biden needs to take to help reinvigorate young voters ahead of midterms and keep Democrats in check. of Congress.
Now, Democrats will have to wait and see if Biden’s choice to offer just $10 or $20,000 in forgiveness — a number well below the national average for student debt — will be enough to drive down voter turnout.