SIOUX FALLS, S.D. — U.S. Sen. John Thune (R-S.D.) today released the following statement regarding President Biden’s expected executive action to extend the suspension of repayments on qualifying federal student loans and forgive between $10,000 to $20,000 per borrower.
“The president’s plan to forgive student loans is incredibly unfair to those taxpayers who never incurred student debt because they didn’t attend college in the first place or because they either worked their way through school or their family pinched pennies and planned for higher education, and it will do nothing to address the problems that actually created this debt crisis,” said Thune. “Regrettably, Democrats have made clear that they do not have a serious plan to lower the cost of higher education and instead support putting taxpayers and working families on the hook for billions of dollars of student loans in a blatant political payoff.”
Some estimates suggest that forgiving $10,000 in student loans for certain borrowers would cost taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars. In addition, the current student loan repayment freeze has already cost American taxpayers more than $100 billion. In April, Thune introduced the Stop Reckless Student Loan Actions Act, which would end President Biden’s untargeted, budget-busting suspension of repayments on qualifying federal student loans. The bill would still allow the president to temporarily suspend repayment for low- and middle-income borrowers in future national emergencies and would prohibit the president from cancelling outstanding federal student loan obligations due to a national emergency.
Thune has led common-sense measures to address the problem of student debt. In December 2020, Congress passed a five-year version of legislation Thune introduced with Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) to allow employers to help employees repay their loans. Thune and Warner’s Employer Participation in Repayment Act amends the Educational Assistance Program to permit employers to make tax-free payments on their employees’ student loans.