One more Democratic lawmaker has voiced concerns about President Joe Biden’s plan to forgive student debt, while Republicans in Congress continue to speak out against the decision.
Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), who is facing Republican nominee J.D. Vance in the Ohio Senate race in November, told CNN on Aug. 28 that Biden’s decision sent “the wrong message.”
“People are getting crushed with inflation, crushed with gas prices, food prices, and all the rest. And I think a targeted approach right now really does send the wrong message,” Ryan said.
Ryan added, “There's a lot of people out there making 30, 40 grand a year that didn't go to college, and they need help as well, which is why I have been proposing a tax cut for working people that will affect everybody.”
The Ohio lawmaker offered the alternative option of allowing student loan borrowers to negotiate lower interest rates.
“You could very easily allow them to negotiate—renegotiate down the interest rates,” Ryan continued. “Giving them an opportunity to renegotiate those down will put significant money in their pocket and I think relieve some of that burden.”
“While immediate relief to families is important, one-time debt cancellation does not solve the underlying problem. So I'm pleased to see reforms to income-driven repayment plans and the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program,” Bennet added.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), when asked about comments from Bennet and Cortez Mastro during an interview with ABC on Sunday, said their “criticism is correct.”
“Well, the truth is, in a sense that criticism is correct but the answer is not to deny help to people who cannot deal with these horrendous student debts, who were delaying getting married, delaying even having children,” Sanders said.
RepublicansSen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), who has chosen not to seek election to a third term in the Missouri Senate race in November, told ABC on Sunday that Biden’s student-loan relief plan is “just bad economics.”
“I just thought it was monumentally unfair—unfair to people who didn't go to college because they didn't think they could afford it, unfair to people who paid their loans back, unfair to people who got higher education in an area that the government didn't make loans, and just bad economics in addition to that,” Blunt said.
Blunt said Biden’s plan isn’t fair to people who “have a challenge going to college.”
The Missouri senator also questioned the timing of the announcement.
“Here they are doing it right before the election. And I think people know they got their debt forgiven. Other people won't know the impact that has on them or their taxes between now and Election Day,” Blunt added.
What’s more, the Republicans added that 87 percent of adults without student loans are being forced to pay for the 13 percent who chose to take on student loans.
“It’s clear that canceling student debt is a desperate pander to Democrats’ far-left political supporters that offers a massive financial handout to wealthy individuals, and stokes the fires of inflation,” the Republicans said.