‘Punishes The Poor’: GOP Governors Send Biden Letter Criticizing Student Loan Forgiveness Plan

‘Punishes The Poor’: GOP Governors Send Biden Letter Criticizing Student Loan Forgiveness Plan

A group of 22 GOP governors sent a letter to President Joe Biden on Monday criticizing his student loan forgiveness plan.

The letter, led by Governor Kim Reynolds (R-IA), argues that the move shifts the burden of debt in a way that hurts working Americans.

“As governors, we support making higher education more affordable and accessible for students in our states, but we fundamentally oppose your plan to force American taxpayers to pay off the student loan debt of an elite few – a plan that is estimated to cost the American taxpayer more than $2,000 each or $600 billion total, a price the people of our states cannot afford,” the letter stated.

“Only 16-17 percent of Americans have federal student loan debt, and yet, your plan will require their debts be redistributed and paid by the vast majority of taxpayers,” the letter continued. “Shifting the burden of debt from the wealthy to working Americans has a regressive impact that harms lower income families. Borrowers with the most debt, such as $50,000 or more, almost exclusively have graduate degrees, meaning hourly workers will pay off the master’s and doctorate degrees of high salaried lawyers, doctors, and professors.”

The governors argued that the plan punishes taxpayers who did not take out loans or who have already repaid them. Americans who chose to work or not borrow money for college should not be forced to help pay for those who willingly took on significant debt, according to the letter.

The GOP leaders also pushed back against Biden’s move to announce the student loan forgiveness plan through executive order, saying he lacks the authority to forgive student loan debt apart from the legislative process.

“Bipartisan opposition to your plan includes more than economic objections but process problems as well.  As president, you lack the authority to wield unilateral action to usher in a sweeping student loan cancellation plan, a position shared by leaders of your party,” the letter added.

Biden revealed his plan last month to cancel $10,000 in student loans per borrower earning under $125,000.

In addition, the president announced a pause on federal student loan repayment until January 2023, while borrowers with undergraduate loans can cap repayment at 5% of monthly income.

The full list of Republican leaders who signed the letter included Governors Kim Reynolds (IA), Kay Ivey (AL), Mike Dunleavy (AK), Doug Ducey (AZ), Asa Hutchinson (AR), Ron DeSantis (FL), Brian Kemp (GA), Brad Little (ID), Larry Hogan (MD), Mike Parson (MO), Greg Gianforte (MT), Pete Ricketts (NE), Chris Sununu (NH), Doug Burgum (ND), Mike DeWine (OH), Kevin Stitt (OK), Henry McMaster (SC), Kristi Noem (SD), Bill Lee (TN), Greg Abbott (TX), Spencer Cox (UT), and Mark Gordon (WY).