Republican lawmakers blasted Joe Biden’s Wednesday executive order to “forgive” billions of dollars of federal student-loan debt, arguing that the “scheme” benefits the upper class, and transfers the cost to taxpayers, the majority of whom did not attend college.
Biden’s order “cancels” $10,000 in federal student debt for individuals making under $125,000 annually and households making under $250,000 annually, as well as relieving $20,000 in debt for Pell grant recipients.
Republican Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called Biden’s decision “a slap in the face to working Americans.”
“Democrats’ student loan socialism is a slap in the face to working Americans who sacrificed to pay their debt or made different career choices to avoid debt. A wildly unfair redistribution of wealth toward higher-earning people,” the Kentucky senator said.
Republican Texas Senator Ted Cruz said it was just a “Hail Mary” before the midterms, calling it “insane and illegal” and that “the middle class will be stuck with the bill.”
Republican Nebraska Senator Ben Sasse said Biden’s order “baptizes a broken system,” and advantages college graduates over their blue collar countrymen.
“The President can spin it however he wants with Pell window dressing, but at the end of the day his debt forgiveness scheme forces blue-collar workers to subsidize white-collar graduate students. Instead of demanding accountability from an underperforming higher education sector that pushes so many young Americans into massive debt, the Administration’s unilateral plan baptizes a broken system. This deeply regressive action — which fails even to acknowledge that most debt is held by folks with graduate degrees — will do nothing to jumpstart the reform higher education desperately needs,” Sasse said in a statement.
Other Republicans blasted Biden for not taking into account those that had already paid off their loans responsibly.
“Who will be forced to pay for Biden’s debt transfer scam? Hard-working Americans who already paid off their debts or never took on student loan debt in the first place,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy said.
“What about Americans who already paid off their student loans?” Republican Ohio Representative Jim Jordan said.
Republican Arkansas Senator Tom Cotton said, “Biden owes Americans an explanation on why a truck driver who didn’t go to college is now responsible for the student loans of a rich lawyer.”
Cotton said colleges are the true culprits, calling them “bloated” and “self-serving.”
“I’ll be introducing a bill to hold these colleges accountable for debt, lower tuition, support non-college career paths, and save the taxpayers billions,” Cotton added.
Republican Georgia Representative Barry Loudermilk said that the “forgiveness” is an “insult” to the American people “who have worked so hard to pay off their student loans and other debts.”
“Not only does this decision raise legal concerns, it will also not help inflation and will cost American taxpayers an estimated $300 billion,” he added.
The total estimated cost for Biden’s one-time cancellation, not including the additional money for Pell grant recipients, is $300 billion, according to a study released Tuesday by the Wharton School of business at the University of Pennsylvania. The cost would increase to $330 billion if the program continues over the standard ten-year window, the study showed.