Oct 14, 2022 - Politics

Locked in tight race, Rep. Angie Craig walks back support for Biden's loan forgiveness

Illustration of a large pile of money with a graduation cap on top.

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Democratic U.S. Rep. Angie Craig walked back support for President Biden's student loan forgiveness plan during a debate Thursday, saying she has "a lot of questions" about the administration's approach.

The big picture: The two-term incumbent, who is locked in tight race in a suburban Twin Cities swing district, is the latest Democrat in a competitive race to distance themselves from the plan to cancel up to $20,000 in debt for millions of borrowers.

What she's saying: Craig said that while she supports efforts to lower the cost of higher education, she's concerned about the administration's unilateral move to cancel the debt.

  • "You have to ask the question: Can a president spend $400 billion without congressional approval?" she said. "And I would have to say that I don't agree in principle."

State of play: The Biden administration has said it plans to begin accepting applications from borrowers this month. But the plan faces a number of lawsuits.

  • "I don't know if this will be deemed illegal or not, but I'm very concerned and I am asking the administration to please explain this," Craig told reporters following the debate.

Flashback: Craig struck a more positive tone shortly after the plan was announced. She told the Star Tribune at the time that the executive order would "help provide a bit of debt relief and give folks time to plan to start repaying those student loans."

Between the lines: While the plan fulfilled a campaign promise for Biden, it also carries political risk. Polling shows voters are split on the idea.

Of note: Tyler Kistner, the GOP's nominee in the 2nd Congressional District, opposes the move.

Flashback: Craig is one of a number of House Democrats who have publicly said Biden should not run for a second term.

  • She reiterated her call for a new generation of leadership in response to questions from reporters Thursday.

More coverage: Biden's student loan test


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