Bernie Defends Biden’s Student Loan Debt Cancellation, Wants Public Colleges ‘Tuition-Free’

Bernie Defends Biden’s Student Loan Debt Cancellation, Wants Public Colleges ‘Tuition-Free’

Far-left Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) defended the Biden administration’s decision to cancel thousands of dollars in federal student loan debt.

Appearing on ABC’s “This Week with George Stephanopoulos” Sunday, Sanders rebuked Republicans and vulnerable Democrats who criticized Biden’s decision to unilaterally forgive up to $10,000 for most borrowers. Sanders said Biden “did the right thing” and pushed for the even more radical policy of making public colleges tuition-free.

“I know it is shocking to some Republicans that the government, on occasion, does something to benefit working families and low-income people,” Sanders said. “I don’t hear any of these Republicans squawking when we give massive tax breaks to billionaires, when we have an effective tax rate today, such that the 1% having a lower effective tax rate than working people.”

“We have major corporations in a given year don’t pay a nickel in federal taxes,” he continued.” That’s okay, but suddenly when we do something for working people, it is a terrible idea.”

“I was in Boston last week and I was talking to nurses, and these nurses were telling me that they are working in some cases two jobs, outrageous hours partly in order to pay for the student debts that they have accumulated. So in my view, the president did the right thing, and we have got to be really thinking about higher education in general and in my view, at a time when hundreds of thousands of bright, young people can’t even afford to go to college, if we’re going to be competitive in a global economy, we need to make public colleges and universities tuition-free.”

A number of Congressional Democrats in hotly-contested midterm races criticized Biden’s student loan decision. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) said Wednesday that canceling debt “doesn’t address the root problems that make college unaffordable.”

Vulnerable Rep. Chris Pappas (D-NH) said Biden’s decision is “no way to make policy” and slammed the decision for sidestepping Congress.

And Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH), who is running for Senate in Ohio, said that the decision “sends the wrong message to the millions of Ohioans without a degree working just as hard to make ends meet.”

Sanders rebuked his Democratic colleagues’ criticism.

“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,” he said. “The answer is that maybe just maybe we want to have a government that works for all working people and not just the people on top.”

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