- On Wednesday, President Joe Biden announced up to $20,000 in student loan relief for certain borrowers.
- Republicans said it was an unfair burden on taxpayers and Democrats pointed to their relieved PPP loans.
- On Friday, Senator Bernie Sanders entered the fray and said the GOPers weren’t complaining about Trump’s bankruptcies.
It’s a loan forgiveness war, as Republicans and Democrats continue to back and forth over President Joe Biden’s decision to provide student debt relief.
Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders weighed in on Friday with a typically fiery response.
“I hear Republicans complaining about $20,000 student debt forgiveness. Funny, I didn’t hear those complaints when Trump declared bankruptcy 6 times and the big banks wrote off $287 million. loan dollars,” Sanders said. tweeted. “The GOP loves socialism for the rich, rugged individualism for the rest.”
On Wednesday, Biden announced up to $20,000 in student loan forgiveness for Pell Grant recipients earning less than $125,000 a year, as well as up to $10,000 in relief for other federal borrowers under the same income limit. As expected, Republican lawmakers were quick to criticize the ad, with many saying the broad pardon is costly and unfair to taxpayers.
It’s a criticism that Biden himself was quick to chide, questioning the fairness of taxpayers subsidizing tax breaks for multibillion-dollar corporations and pointing out GOP lawmakers who received a rebate of business loan during the pandemic.
The Washington Post reports that Hillary Clinton was right to assert in 2016 that Donald Trump had “taken corporate bankruptcies six times”. Trump said it happened four times and told the Post he counted the first three bankruptcies as one. The New York Times found in an analysis of his 2020 tax returns, Trump had about $287 million in forgiven debt.
Sanders is not the first Democrat to scrutinize the GOP pushback on Biden relief. After Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell called the president’s student loan forgiveness “stunningly unfair,” Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren was quick to respond, noting that when McConnell graduated from the University of Louisville, he paid only $330 in annual tuition.
“Senator McConnell graduated from a school that costs $330 a year,” Warren wrote on Twitter Thursday. “Today it costs more than $12,000. McConnell has done nothing about it – and is furious that the president is stepping in to help millions of working Americans who are in debt. He can spare us the lectures on fairness.”
The White House itself also took to Twitter to name some Republican lawmakers — those who complained about Biden’s relief while getting their Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans canceled. . While GOP Sen. Marco Rubio wrote in a Friday op-ed that PPP loans and student loans are not comparable, National Economic Council Deputy Director Bharat Ramamurti said “we absolutely think this is a fair comparison”.
The Department of Education is expected to announce further details of Biden’s relief plans in the coming weeks, and a loan forgiveness application is expected to go live in early October.