Republicans blast Biden’s ‘disgraceful’ extension to student loan payment pause

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President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden walk down the steps of Air Force One at Nantucket Airport in Nantucket, Mass., Tuesday, Nov. 22, 2022. The Bidens are spending the Thanksgiving Day holiday in Nantucket with their family. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh) Susan Walsh/AP

Republicans blast Biden’s ‘disgraceful’ extension to student loan payment pause

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The Biden administration’s latest extension to the pause on federal student loan payments faced a chilly reception from congressional Republicans, who blasted the announcement as fiscally irresponsible.

President Joe Biden announced Tuesday that the pause on federal student loan payments would be extended through June 2023 while a plan to forgive a wide swath of federally held student loans remains tied up in court. Biden has sought to forgive $20,000 in federally held student loans for borrowers who received Pell Grants and $10,000 for those who did not, provided the borrower does not make more than $125,000 a year.

BIDEN EXTENDS STUDENT LOAN PAYMENT PAUSE TO JUNE 30 AS COURTS TIE UP FORGIVENESS PLAN

The latest extension to the payment pause, which was implemented by the Trump administration during the early days of the coronavirus pandemic, was condemned by Republicans.

House Education and Labor Committee ranking member Virginia Foxx (R-NC) issued a statement Tuesday shortly after the president’s announcement, calling the latest extension a “disgraceful” action meant to appease the progressive factions of the president’s party.

“Since taking office, this administration has done everything in its power to run the federal student loan program into the ground,” Foxx said. “This may appease radical members of his party and left-wing advocacy groups on Twitter, but this disgraceful inaction by our commander in chief will have real, harmful repercussions for Americans.”

Foxx criticized the president’s policies as “shameful” and said he was using student loan borrowers “as political pawns.”

“This is not the kind of policy taxpayers ordered, but it’s all that’s on the menu for the Biden administration,” she said. “We need sane, fiscally responsible policies — not the haphazard decisions being served up by this White House.”

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Sen. Ben Sasse (R-NE) likewise ripped the president’s student loan policies as a “flatly unjust” effort to “transfer poorer Americans’ earnings to fund richer folks’ graduate degrees.”

“Congress didn’t approve this scheme, and the president doesn’t have the power to do this alone,” Sasse said. “Courts have spoken, but the president is deciding to flagrantly ignore them. This isn’t how self-government works.”

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