Rep. Rose Slams Biden Administration for Ongoing Student Loan Forgiveness Efforts

WASHINGTON, DC—U.S. Representative John Rose (TN-06) criticized the Biden Administration following a series of policy changes and executive actions aimed at forgiving federal student loan debt.

The full remarks, as prepared for delivery, are below:  

Mister Speaker, we recently learned that the Department of Education would be shifting another $1.2 billion in student loan debt from borrowers to the taxpayers. This is yet another example of President Biden’s administration abusing whatever regulatory lever they can find, every executive action he can think up, to usurp Congress and continue this unjust bailout scheme.

And, unfortunately, the scheme is working. In recent months, tens of billions of dollars in borrowed money are no longer due for payment. Let’s be clear. Student loan debt can’t be forgiven. It’s simply being transferred to the hardworking American taxpayer—most of whom never went to college or took out student loans.

These tactics come despite what happened last summer, when the Supreme Court of the United States overturned the Biden Administration’s previous student loan handout plan, totaling more than $400 billion. The high court found, in layman’s terms, that a president cannot spend hundreds of billions of dollars with the stroke of a pen.

This is one of the most regressive ideas I’ve seen in my time in Congress. It does nothing to solve the ballooning cost of college. It simply adds to our national debt, which already sits at more than $34.2 trillion.

We know that 43 million out of 255 million adults in the United States have some kind of student loan debt. We also know that the $1.7 trillion in outstanding college debt is disproportionately held by high earners. It makes no sense for a blue-collar worker to be forced to pay off college debt for a doctor or lawyer.

We have the freedom to choose whether to pursue higher education in this country. You can choose to forgo a four-year degree, as millions of successful Americans have, but this administration would have you pay for the four-year degrees of others regardless. More than 100 million Americans have built a life without taking on debt. In fact, I represent thousands of Middle Tennesseans who earn a good living without having borrowed money to do so. Why should they foot the bill for those who did? This sends a terrible message to an entire generation of undergraduates and soon-to-be undergraduates. Perhaps more importantly, this unjust and wrongheaded action on the part of President Biden incentivizes universities to continue raising tuition with impunity because students can now borrow the money to pay those outrageous tuitions without having to pay it back.

Furthermore, and possibly the worst aspect of all of this, is that every college graduate and every parent of a college graduate who did the honorable thing by paying off these loans, often at great sacrifice, is now being harshly punished for having done so. It’s also an ugly affront to the families across this country struggling to stay afloat amid record-high consumer prices.

There are already programs on the books to help those struggling to repay their loans, like income-driven repayment plans, of which roughly 40% of borrowers are enrolled. I urge the White House to end this cycle of adding billions to our debt with the stroke of a pen. Just as the Supreme Court determined last June, this kind of policy must be approved by Congress.

And with that, I yield back.

You can watch the full speech here

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