Editor’s note: An earlier version of this story contained incorrect information about the amount of debt the letter stated taxpayers would be burdened with. The actual amount the letter stated is $600 billion. We regret the error.
(KCAU) — Twenty-two Republican governors, including Nebraska’s Pete Ricketts, South Dakota’s Kristi Noem, and Iowa’s Kim Reynolds, have sent a letter to President Joe Biden opposing his plans to cancel student loan debt.
The Monday joint letter, spearheaded by Reynolds, stated Biden’s plan of $10,000 in debt forgiveness would add $600 billion to taxpayers. The letter claimed that is unfair for the vast majority of taxpayers to pay for the loan forgiveness when only 16-17% of Americans have federal student loan debt. They added that the plan would shift the burden of debt from the wealthy to the poor.
The joint letter went on to say that it was the decision of the students to take out loans.
“College may not be the right decision for every American, but for the students who took out loans, it was their decision: able adults and willing borrowers who knowingly agreed to the terms of the loan and consented to taking on debt in exchange for taking classes,” the letter stated. “A high-cost degree is not the key to unlocking the American Dream—hard work and personal responsibility is.”
The governors added that the plan is unfair to those who have already paid off their loans.
They add that the plan will “encourage more student borrowing, incentivize higher tuition rates, and drive-up inflation even further.” It went on further to say that “this doesn’t truly solve the problem and he is not addressing the issue of the rising cost of tuition or lowering interest rates for students.”
Matt Sinovic, the executive director of Progress Iowa, said in a statement that the “burden of student loan debt has forced millions of Americans into terrible choices, like staying in a bad job or delaying needed medical care.”
He added that the student debt forgiveness plan would allow people to spend more and keep the economy going. His statement called out Reynolds for her lack of not funding public schools and cutting funding to the state’s public universities.
Biden’s plan calls for thousands of dollars in loan cancellations for individuals who earn less than $125,000 a year. For those who went to college on Pell Grants, $20,000 will be forgiven. Those who did not receive that grant will see $10,000 in debt forgiveness.
Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa is one of two Republican senators calling for lawsuits to block Biden’s order forgiving student loan debt, calling it an illegal overreach and abuse of executive power.
You can read the letter by clicking here.
The joint letter was signed by governors from Iowa, Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Idaho, Maryland, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Wyoming.