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Pennsylvania politicians react to Biden's student loan forgiveness plan

Both of the Commonwealth's senators, as well as several congressmen have responded so far.

PENNSYLVANIA, USA — Reactions from Pennsylvania politicians have been issued following President Biden's student loan forgiveness plan

U.S. Senator Pat Toomey (R-Pa.) criticized the decision, stating that it will force taxpayers to pay for the cancelation of student debt. Sen. Toomey also stated that the plan will use questionable executive authority to cancel up to $20,000 in student loans for families making up to $250,000 annually. 

“President Biden’s student loan bailout scheme is a government handout to Americans making up to $250,000 annually and the higher education industrial complex," Sen. Toomey said in a statement. "Taxpayers will foot the bill for this massive expenditure, including the vast majority of Americans who already paid off their loans, paid for tuition out of pocket, or do not even have post-secondary education nor enjoy the higher lifetime earnings associated with it."

“This decision will have wide-reaching, negative ramifications across America’s economy, including increasing already disastrous inflation, exacerbating America’s spending problems, and encouraging higher education institutions to raise the cost of going to college," Toomey continued. 

According to Toomey's statement, Penn Wharton released data indicating President Biden's loan forgiveness will cost taxpayers over $300 billion over 10 years, with the majority of relief benefitting the top 60% of income earners in the U.S. 

U.S. Senator Bob Casey (D-Pa.) released a statement praising the president's plan. 

“Today, President Biden eased the burden for millions of Americans who are struggling under the weight of their student debt," he said in a statement. "This will give them the freedom to invest in their future, buy a home, or take a risk and start a business. It’s an important first step forward in helping borrowers saddled with student debt. Moving forward, we must work to lower the skyrocketing cost of college so that future students are able to get an education without signing up for a lifetime of debt.” 

Senator Casey noted that the cost for both four-year public and private colleges has nearly tripled, even after accounting for inflation, with federal support not adjusting to cover the rising costs. 

Congressman Lloyd Smucker (R-Pa. 11) released the following statement, stating that Biden's plan will not make education more affordable: 

"President Biden's decision does nothing to lower the cost of education. Instead, it will make college degrees more expensive, while simultaneously creating the expectation of the government canceling more student debt in the future. Rather than engage in the hard work of addressing the affordability of education, Biden has kowtowed to the most progressive elements of his part and has created a massive government giveaway. All on the backs of the American taxpayer." 

Smucker continues, stating that Biden must address under what constitutional authority the action is being taken, as well as stating that his administration has incentivized schools to raise prices and private lenders to raise loan rates on students. 

"What does President Biden have to say to those who already paid their federal student loans?" he goes on in the statement. "What does the president have to say to the overwhelming majority of Americans who never took out student loans? The only thing Biden has delivered for hard-working Americans is 40-year high inflation and an economy in recession. This massive government giveaway is a slap in the face to those who worked hard and played by the rules to pay for their education."

He finished the statement, saying, "Biden's decision is misguided, short-sighted, and costly." 

Several other Pennsylvania politicians tweeted their opinions on the plan, including Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa. 10), Congressman Fred Keller (R-Pa. 12), and Congressman Dan Meuser (R-Pa. 9). 

"Transferring debt from those who are responsible for it to those who are not isn’t forgiveness, it’s theft," Rep. Perry said on Twitter. 

Congressman Keller spoke about his personal experiences in relation to the plan. 

"I didn’t go to college," he tweeted. "I couldn’t afford it. Instead, I went to the factory at 18 and paved a way for my family. Joe Biden wants hard-working Americans who didn’t take any student loans to pay for those that have. That’s not how America works." 

Congressman Meuser echoed similar sentiments. 

"Why pay off your self-imposed debt if Biden Democrats can get a hard-working American to do it for you?" he tweeted. "Forgiving self-induced student debt is a moral hazard for our country and will enhance inflation. Another out of touch and wasteful policy from Biden-Pelosi-Schumer Democrats." 

Reps. Perry, Meuser, and Smucker all represent counties within FOX43's coverage area. Senators Toomey and Casey represent the entire state of Pennsylvania. 

For more information on the student loan forgiveness plan, click here

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