Sep 12, 2022 - Economy

GOP governors urge Biden to withdraw his student loan forgiveness plan

Photo of Joe Biden waving as he boards an airplane

President Biden boards Air Force One at Joint Base Andrews in Maryland on Sept. 12. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

Led by Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds, 22 GOP governors on Monday sent a letter to President Biden urging him to withdraw his student loan forgiveness plan, citing its negative impact on lower-income families.

Why it matters: Biden's plan has faced significant pushback from Republicans, who say it's unconstitutional, illegal and unfair to working-class Americans.

What they're saying: "Only 16-17 percent of Americans have federal student loan debt, and yet, your plan will require their debts be redistributed and paid by the vast majority of taxpayers," the governors wrote in the letter, which was first reported by Fox News. "Shifting the burden of debt from the wealthy to working Americans has a regressive impact that harms lower income families."

  • "College may not be the right decision for every American, but for the students who took out loans, it was their decision: able adults and willing borrowers who knowingly agreed to the terms of the loan and consented to taking on debt in exchange for taking classes," they added.
  • "Americans who did not choose to take out student loans themselves should certainly not be forced to pay for the student loans of others."
  • "At a time when inflation is sky high due to your unprecedented tax-and-spend agenda, your plan will encourage more student borrowing, incentivize higher tuition rates, and drive-up inflation even further, negatively impacting every American," they noted.

Worth noting: The White House has said that nearly 90% of those benefiting from the student loan relief earn less than $75,000 a year.

  • A significant percentage of student loan debtors also didn't get a four-year degree, meaning they didn't get the income boost of a bachelor's degree, Axios' Emily Peck notes.

The big picture: The White House called out Republican lawmakers who it says had their Paycheck Protection Program loans forgiven after they accused the Biden administration of issuing handouts.

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