The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

The independent newspaper of the University of Iowa community since 1868

The Daily Iowan

Iowa politicians react to Biden’s new student loan forgiveness plan

Several members of Iowa’s federal delegation said Biden’s loan forgiveness plan would put the burden of other’s student loans on those who didn’t go to college.

WASHINGTON — Following President Joe Biden’s announcement of his new plan to provide student loan debt relief for nearly 30 million Americans, several members of Iowa’s federal delegation called the plan “unconstitutional” citing the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on Biden’s previous plan.  

The plan would reduce payments for 25 million borrowers and erase all debt for more than 4 million Americans. 

“Folks, I will never stop [fighting] to deliver student debt relief [to] hardworking Americans,” Biden said during remarks in Madison, Wisconsin on Monday. “And it’s only in the interest of America that we do it … By freeing millions of Americans from this crushing debt of student debt, it means they can finally get on with their lives instead of being put — their lives being put on hold.” 

Borrowers whose loan balance has ballooned due to interest could see up to $20,000 in interest forgiven, borrowers eligible for loan forgiveness plans that have yet to apply would have their loans automatically canceled, students who went to colleges accused of defrauding students would have their entire loan balance waived, and borrowers experiencing “hardship” because of child care costs or medical bills would be eligible for relief under the plan. 

Biden previously pushed to cancel over $400 billion in debt for 40 million borrowers under the Higher Education Relief Opportunities for Students Act of 2003, or the HEROES Act. 

However, that move was blocked by the U.S. Supreme Court which said the administration’s plan was not within the powers provided in the 2003 law. 

Several members of Iowa’s federal delegation said Biden’s new plan was unconstitutional, including U.S. Rep. Mariannette Miller-Meeks, R-Iowa. 

“The Supreme Court already struck down student loan forgiveness,” Miller-Meeks said in an interview with The Daily Iowan on Tuesday. “I think President Biden continues to look for ways to go around the Supreme Court and around the Constitution.”

Miller-Meeks also said the plan would displace the burden of paying for student loans onto the taxpayers. 

“If you incur a debt, you should pay for that debt,” Miller-Meeks said. “It is not fair to the people who don’t go to college — who work, pay taxes — for their taxes to go to forgive somebody else’s student loans that they benefit from.”

Iowans on average owe $31,000 in student loan debt, according to the Des Moines Register, and the average American owes $38,290, according to CNN

U.S. Rep. Ashley Hinson, R-Iowa, told the DI that Biden’s plan was a debt transfer and would put the burden of paying for the plan on blue-collar workers who didn’t go to college.  

“I think student loan cancellation is just a debt transfer across the board,” Hinson told the DI in an interview Tuesday. “Passing [student loan] debt onto taxpayers who didn’t incur that — who didn’t sign on the dotted lines themselves. It is inherently unfair to ask someone who’s maybe a trucker or a lineman to pay for somebody else’s fancy gender studies degree.” 

U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst, R-Iowa, said Biden should focus on fixing the delayed rollout of the new Free Application for Federal Student Aid, or FAFSA, form. 

“Biden should fix his FAFSA fiasco, instead of bribing young voters with socialist student loan schemes,” Ernst said in a post on X, formerly Twitter. “Like a zombie comes back to life, the price tag of Biden’s billion-dollar bailout will haunt taxpayers.” 

U.S. Rep. Randy Feenstra, R-Iowa, said that voters who never attended college shouldn’t have the burden placed on them through tax dollars. 

“Iowans who never attended college, entered the workforce early, or helped put their kids through school shouldn’t be forced to pay for President Biden’s latest student-loan bailout,” Feenstra said in a post on X, formerly Twitter. “The Supreme Court already ruled his plans unconstitutional, and this effort is no different.”

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About the Contributor
Liam Halawith
Liam Halawith, Politics Editor
Liam Halawith is a third-year student at the University of Iowa studying Journalism and Mass Communication and minoring in Public Policy. Before his role as Politics Editor Liam was a politics reporter for the DI. Outside of the DI Liam has interned at the Cedar Rapids Gazette and the Southeast Iowa Union. This is his second year working for the DI.