LITTLE ROCK, Ark. – A plan announced by the White House to cancel some student loan debt for millions of Americans was met with resistance by Arkansas lawmakers in Washington.
President Joe Biden announced a plan which would lower and in some cases remove student loan debt, estimated to affect 44 million United States student loan borrowers, 39,000 of whom are in Arkansas.
The six members of the Arkansas delegation, all Republican, have come out against the Biden plan.
Senator John Boozman called the plan a “gift” from Biden to his political base, insulting those who have paid off their student loan debt.
“Pres. Biden’s move to “forgive” student loans is a gift to his political base and an insult to taxpayers and everyone who fulfilled their obligations. Americans already struggling to keep up will bear the consequences of this irresponsible decision benefiting high-income earners.” – Sen. John Boozman
Senator Tom Cotton sent an email within minutes of Biden’s announcement, calling the plan a “bailout” with the “real culprit” of the issue being “bloated, self-serving colleges.”
“There is no such thing as student loan forgiveness—this is a bailout, paid for by the large majority of Americans who never went to college or who responsibly paid off their debts. Even worse, President Biden’s plan ignores the true culprit: bloated, self-serving colleges. I’ll be introducing a bill to hold these colleges accountable for debt, lower tuition, support non-college career paths, and save the taxpayers billions.” – Sen. Tom Cotton
Representative French Hill said the plan was not canceling but transferring debt.
“There’s no canceling or forgiveness. The debt is transferred to hardworking taxpayers, many of whom paid off their loans already or decided to pursue a different career and forgo college. This is just bad economic policy and I don’t support this forgiveness approach.” — Rep. French Hill
Representative Rick Crawford invoked the administration’s border policy in coming out against the Biden plan.
“Just as Biden’s open borders policy makes suckers out of the law-abiding scientists and engineers waiting patiently for years to come to America legally, Biden’s amnesty on student loan debt makes suckers out of the millions of working and middle class Americans who paid their student loans debts as they pledged to do. This election season give-away is also a stick in the eye to the two-thirds of American adults without a bachelor’s degree. Fast food workers, truck drivers, and firefighters struggling to make ends meet will be subsidizing affluent white collar professionals while the government refuses to hold universities accountable for their skyrocketing tuition rates.” — Rep. Rick Crawford
Representative Bruce Westerman called the proposal a “slap in the face” imagery to those who are not directly impacted by the debt relief plan.
“Cancelling student debt is a slap in the face of those who choses not to attend college, working their way through college, or worked hard to pay back their loans.”
“Forgiving debt does not magically make the debt go away. It simply shifts the responsibility to every taxpayer.” — Rep. Bruce Westerman
Per the 2020 census, 23.8% of the Arkansas population has a college degree.