“Americans who did not choose to take out student loans themselves should certainly not be forced to pay for the student loans of others.”
There couldn’t be a worse time to implement a student loan forgiveness program, and it should seriously be reconsidered: That’s the message nearly half of the nation’s governors have conveyed to President Joe Biden, who announced the cancellation of up to $10,000 in student loan debt for low to middle-income borrowers and $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients in August, stating, “Both of these targeted actions are for families who need it the most.”
In a joint letter sent to Biden yesterday, 22 governors expressed their concerns about the program arguing the burden of debt has been shifted to the taxpayer: “…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.”
In addition, they say the plan would only worsen the economy and pose even more challenges for students. “At a time when inflation is sky high due to your unprecedented tax-and-spend agenda, your plan will encourage more student borrowing, incentivize higher tuition rates, and drive up inflation even further, negatively impacting every American.”
Over the last couple of weeks, rumors have surfaced that the GOP is preparing lawsuits to block Biden’s student debt plan.
According to the governors’ letter, President Biden simply lacks the Constitutional power to cancel student debt. “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 states. “Last year, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) stated, ‘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.'”
Senate Democrats, however, are urging the Biden Administration to expand debt relief to include parents, arguing that “Parent PLUS borrowers have been left out.”
“We write to urge you to consider Parent PLUS borrowers in any administrative changes and executive actions you undertake to improve the Department of Education’s (Department’s) student loan programs and provide student loan relief,” a letter from Senate Democrats states.
The Education Department reportedly said that Parent PLUS borrowers will qualify for $20,000 in debt relief if they were directly awarded Pell grants. Otherwise, they will be eligible for the $10,000 in relief, assuming they meet the income eligibility requirements.