Biden avoids student debt relief plan, ignoring it in major speeches
President Biden barely mentioned his massive plan to forgive student loans in speeches to friendly, Democratic audiences, avoiding the contentious issue as the midterm election season heats up.
Following Mr. Biden’s August 24 announcement canceling up to $20,000 in student loans for those earning less than $125,000, he delivered 13 public remarks, including six speeches focused on his legislative achievements.
Yet Mr. Biden only mentioned his student debt relief plan once. In remarks Thursday at the 45th Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute Gala, the president briefly touched on it, saying nearly half of Latino students on federal loans will see their debt forgiven completely.
“It gives people a chance,” Biden said of the plan before quickly turning to his support for protecting the deportation of children of illegal immigrants brought to the United States as minors.
Instead of focusing on delivering on a 2020 campaign promise on student debt, Mr Biden focused his midterm message on his legislative victories, portraying supporters of former President Donald Trump as threats for democracy and is committed to protecting women’s right to abortion. He touted his huge climate, tax and health care law; a measure that will stimulate the manufacture of computer chips; and a law reorganizing the country’s infrastructure.
In three speeches — including two the day after he announced his student debt — at Democratic National Committee events, Biden notably failed to include debt relief among his accomplishments.
This week, Mr. Biden spoke at a DNC fundraiser in Boston and, separately, addressed autoworkers in Detroit. In both addresses, he checked off a list of accomplishments, but his student debt plan was missing.
The White House did not respond to a request for comment.
Republicans say Mr Biden is avoiding the debt relief package because he fell flat with voters. The plan has raised complaints of fundamental injustice and forcing taxpayers to repay loans.
“Bailing out the rich is not only unpopular, but also totally out of touch with the hardships families face today. Only Biden would believe that hard-working Americans would welcome this unfair bailout — but that happens when you’re a career politician beholden to the most radical elements of the Democratic Party,” said National Committee spokesman Will O’Grady. republican.
A Morning Consult/Politico poll released Aug. 31 found that 47% of independent voters do not support Mr. Biden’s plan, compared to 42% who approved. According to the parties, 67% of Republicans and 19% of Democrats opposed the action.
And some Democrats, including Senator Catherine Cortez Masto of Nevada, walked away from the plan.
In a statement, Ms Cortez Masto said she disagreed with Mr Biden’s action, saying the government should focus on making college more affordable instead of foregoing student loans .
Democrats say the president is touting his Massive Spending Act, dubbed the Cut Inflation Act, and other victories because they affect more voters than canceling student loans.
Student debt relief is tailored to a select subset of younger, college-educated voters.
“He’s not talking about it because it doesn’t have an overall impact on politics and politics,” said Brad Bannon, a Democratic strategist. “The Inflation Reduction Act is popular, particularly Medicare’s prescription drug provisions, and has more impact on voters than student loan forgiveness.”