GOP Reps. Miller and LaHood blast Biden’s student debt relief plan

Nearly 900,000 Arizonans have debt from federal student loans totaling $31.6 billion.
Nearly 900,000 Arizonans have debt from federal student loans totaling $31.6 billion.(Credit: Pixabay)
Published: Aug. 24, 2022 at 8:41 PM CDT
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PEORIA (25 News Now) - Republican members of Congress, including Illinois Representatives Mary Miller and Darin LaHood, did not mince words about their opposition to President Joe Biden’s plan to reduce student loan debt.

As expected, Illinois’ two Democratic U.S. senators said they strongly endorse the president’s plan.

Biden said Wednesday he’s erasing $10,000 in federal student loan debt for borrowers with incomes below $125,000 a year, or households earning less than $250,000. He’s also canceling an additional $10,000 for people receiving Pell Grants to attend college.

The headline on Wednesday’s news release from 15th District Congresswoman Miller’s office described the plan as a “taxpayer-funded bailout for leftist colleges and universities.”

Illinois Rep. Mary Miller (R-Oakland) at a rally with former President Donald Trump.
Illinois Rep. Mary Miller (R-Oakland) at a rally with former President Donald Trump.

Miller said in a statement:

“Today, Joe Biden announced a $300 billion taxpayer-funded bailout for leftist colleges and universities that prey upon young people by selling them worthless “humanities” degrees so they can become foot soldiers in the Marxist revolution destroying America. In the midst of the Biden Recession, Joe Biden is using working class taxpayers to pay off his donors and voters at a time of historic debt, and record inflation.”

Also from Miller’s statement:

“The blue-collar working class is now saddled with the cost of paying off “elite” institutions with billion dollar endowments. They defrauded young people by exaggerating their future earning power that would enable them to pay back those loans.”

“Parents sacrificed for years to save for their children’s college expenses and many students forfeited going to the school of their choice and instead choose community college or instate tuition. Some didn’t go to college because it was unaffordable and didn’t want to pay back loans. Many people worked full time and lived at home to pay for college and lots of graduates have been making college loan payments for YEARS! President Biden’s decision to bailout colleges and universities adds insult to injury and is completely irresponsible.”

“A new majority in Congress must investigate the staggering increase in costs for college degrees, the disconnect between those rising costs and the job prospects of graduates who cannot pay back these loans, and the corrupt endowment system! The U.S. Department of Education’s role is to protect and defend the TAXPAYERS, not the leftist colleges and universities with billion dollar endowments that prey upon borrowers! It’s time to defund and eliminate the U.S. Dept. of Education.”

LaHood, who’s from Dunlap and represents Illinois’ 18th Congressional District, cast doubt whether Biden can forgive student loan debt. He released a statement Wednesday on his Facebook page.

16th Congressional District candidate Darin LaHood took part in a meet and greet Thursday night...
16th Congressional District candidate Darin LaHood took part in a meet and greet Thursday night in Rockford.(WIFR)

“President Biden has no executive authority to “cancel” student loan debt. Student loans won’t be cancelled; they will be transferred to hardworking taxpayers. In the middle of an economic crisis, the President wants working and middle-class families hit hardest by inflation to bailout billions of dollars in student loans. It’s a slap in the face to those who sacrificed to save for college, worked hard to pay off their loans, volunteered to serve in our Armed Forces, or chose a different career path to avoid debt.”

U.S. Senators Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth issued statements welcoming the executive action.

Durbin posted a statement Wednesday on Facebook.

“Tens of millions of Americans are plagued by student loan debt in pursuit of a quality education. Today’s announcement by President Biden is a crucial step to enable low- and middle-income borrowers—especially communities of color—to eliminate their debt so they can buy a home, start a business, save for emergencies, and fully participate in our economy.”

Duckworth echoed Durbin’s remarks.

“This is welcome relief for millions of borrowers across the nation who are dealing with unreasonable amounts of student debt. I’m glad the administration heeded our request to get this done.”