Even some Democrats are upset with President Joe Biden’s executive action which will “forgive” up to $10,000 in student debt. The measure will give $10,000 as a gift, which the administration is calling “forgiveness” to those who earn less than $125,000 per year and up to $20,000 to those who received a Pell Grant.
Shockingly, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi actually made the statement in July of 2021, that Biden did not have the executive authority to issue “debt forgiveness.”
“People think that the President of the United States has the power for debt forgiveness. He does not. He can postpone. He can delay. But he does not have that power. That has to be an act of Congress,” Pelosi said at the time.
Despite Pelosi’s statement, Biden’s order is expected to cost $300 billion, according to an estimate by the Wharton School of business at the University of Pennsylvania.
National Review compiled some responses by Democrats:
Representative Jared Golden of Maine called the order “out of touch with what the majority of the American people want from the White House, which is leadership to address the most immediate challenges the country is facing.”
Representative Tim Ryan, who is running for Senate in Ohio against J.D. Vance, warned the move could alienate Ohioans without a degree.
“While there’s no doubt that a college education should be about opening opportunities, waiving debt for those already on a trajectory to financial security sends the wrong message to the millions of Ohioans without a degree working just as hard to make ends meet,” Ryan said.
Senator Michael Bennet is running for reelection in Colorado, and said the administration should have further targeted the relief and proposed a way to pay for the plan.
“While immediate relief to families is important, one-time debt cancellation does not solve the underlying problem,” he said.
However, his statement seems to tone down his earlier criticism from June that there “was no reason to” cancel student loan debt without reform.
Representative Chris Pappas called the executive order “no way to make policy” saying Biden’s action “sidesteps Congress and our oversight and fiscal responsibilities.”
“Any plan to address student debt should go through the legislative process, and it should be more targeted and paid for so it doesn’t add to the deficit,” he said.
Senator Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada said she doesn’t agree with the move “because it doesn’t address the root problems that make college unaffordable.”
“We should be focusing on passing my legislation to expand Pell Grants for lower income students, target loan forgiveness to those in need, and actually make college more affordable for working families,” she said.
Representative Sharice Davids of Kansas said the executive action was not how she would have personally addressed the issue.
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