Republicans who are bitter about President Joe Biden’s student loan handouts are criticizing him, suggesting the votes are ‘like’ voter bribes. The disparate response from Republicans and Democrats on Capitol Hill was caused after President Biden’s decision to hand out $10,000-$20,000 in student debt relief for Americans making under $125,000 annually, sparking a massive debate on social media with fans of politics.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. said: “By delivering historic targeted student debt relief to millions of borrowers, more working families will be able to meet their kitchen table needs as they continue to recover from the challenges of the pandemic.”
According to a February report from Treasury Department, the move comes as the national debt stands at more than $30 trillion. While according to the Congressional Budget Office, the federal budget deficit, meanwhile, stood at $727 billion as of the end of July.
A quick reaction was made by the GOP lawmakers to rebuke the decision as an abdication of personal responsibility that would only benefit a section of the American population. Sen. Mitt Romney was among the some who even suggested the decision was a cynical ploy by the White House to keep young voters in its column ahead of the November midterms. Romney, R-Utah said: “Sad to see what’s being done to bribe the voters. Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan may win Democrats some votes, but it fuels inflation, foots taxpayers with other people’s financial obligations, is unfair to those who paid their own way, and creates irresponsible expectations.”
However, the move will worsen inflation, as the Republicans largely argued, which has already resulted in prices rising at the fastest rate in 40 years. Biden’s proposal did little to address the reason for why higher education costs had exploded in recent decades, they also claimed.
Rep. Ben Cline, R-Va. said: “It’s called personal responsibility: if you take out a loan, you pay back the loan, Biden’s student loan debt cancellation is a handout to the coastal elites and will fall on the backs of hardworking American taxpayers who didn’t have a chance to attend college.”
Biden plans to give $10,000 to borrowers making less than $125,000 annually, as he announced, and Pell Grant recipients will receive $20,000 in debt handouts provided their income is below the $125,000 threshold. No individual or household in the top 5% of earners will benefit from the decision, the Administration officials claim.
Through the end of the year, the White House is also extending a pause on student loan payments. A new Education Department proposal is coinciding with the announcement that allows borrowers to cap undergraduate loan repayment at 5% of their monthly income.
While arguing it would go a long way to helping relieve financial burdens for Americans facing 40-year high inflation, Democrats did praise the decision. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass said: “Today is a day of joy and relief. President Biden is canceling up to $20,000 of federal student debt for as many as 43 million Americans, a powerful step to help rebuild the middle class. This will be transformative for the lives of working people all across this country.”
Many others also said that credit belonged to the party’s progressive grassroots faction which had been vocal in calling on the White House to act, despite most Democrats praising Biden for the decision. Rep. Cori Bush, D-Mo said: “Grateful for the organizers, activists, and advocates who never let up in the push for student debt cancellation. This victory is because of you.”
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y. said: “Make no mistake, the work, our work, will continue as we pursue every available path to address the student debt crisis, help close the racial wealth gap for borrowers, and keep our economy growing.”