Biden navigates student debt forgiveness policy on campaign trail

OXON HILL, Md. — The liberal lobbying campaign on President Joe Biden to write off federal student loan debt has been immense, with his executive action last month underscoring the importance of energizing the base of disenchanted Democratic activists ahead of November’s midterm elections. .

But Biden appears to be selective when mentioning his long-awaited move as Republicans strive to frame the move as an elite debt bailout.

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Data from the JPMorgan Chase Institute indicates that Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan will benefit wealthy families more than poor families, although low-income and minority households are more likely to see the extent of their debt forgiven . At the same time, Republicans cite Gallup figures showing that inflation is causing financial hardship for the majority of the public.

“Joe Biden has bailed out wealthy college graduates but is reluctant to mention it,” Republican National Committee spokesman Will O’Grady said. Washington Examiner. “Could it be because his bailout is hugely unpopular and out of touch? Or is it because it is unfair to those who have chosen a different path or who have already repaid their loans? Or because it fuels an already galloping inflation?

“Either way, this ‘victory’ reveals who Joe Biden really is: an out-of-touch career politician who doesn’t give a damn about working Americans,” O’Grady added.

The White House did not respond to questions about why Biden did not mention his student loan forgiveness plan during his Labor Day campaign in the battleground states of Pennsylvania and of Wisconsin — and in the relatively working-class towns of Pittsburgh and Milwaukee, where the president has bolstered labor relations in the past. Biden had referenced it the previous week during his first midterm rally in the Democratic stronghold of Maryland.

Berwood Yost, director of Franklin & Marshall College’s Center for Opinion Research in Pennsylvania, said polls he analyzed showed a “slight majority” approved of Biden’s plan in his state. At the same time, opinions are “very different across political parties” and independent voters are “about evenly split on this,” according to Yost.

“I think the political calculus is that this is an issue that the president has spoken about during his campaign, and I imagine he expects this to be a way for him to excite his grassroots voters in the hope that they will support the Democrats during the fall campaign,” he said.

“In Pennsylvania so far, no Senate candidate has mentioned it, so I don’t know what role it will play here,” Yost continued.

Although Biden didn’t mention his plan to forgive student loan debt in Pennsylvania and Wisconsin last week, party officials at the Democratic National Committee’s summer meeting didn’t seem to hesitate.

White House digital strategy director Rob Flaherty was praised at the DNC executive committee meeting for his team’s social media defense of Biden’s student loan debt forgiveness plan against Republican critics comparing it to GOP lawmakers’ endorsement of former President Donald Trump’s pandemic. Paycheck Protection Program.

Flaherty told the DNC’s most influential figures on Friday that the effort generated “about 20 million” social media impressions, not including media attention. The Biden campaign alum described grassroots Democrats’ desire to counter Republican attacks more vigorously, especially ahead of the midterm cycle.

A day earlier, DNC President Jaime Harrison told the Youth Council that Biden’s forgiveness of $10,000 in student loan debt for borrowers earning less than $125,000 a year and $20,000 $ for eligible Pell Grant recipients was the first of “many more steps forward.” Harrison’s comments acknowledge that while Biden’s plan will bring relief, liberals, such as Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), have called for a remission of debt of $50,000.

“Do we need to do more? Should we do more? Yes. And we will,” he said. “We need at least two or three additional new US senators. We need to maintain our majority in the House of Representatives.”

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The Pennsylvania Senate campaign is tilting Democratic as the party seeks to expand a majority that relies on Vice President Kamala Harris’ decisive vote, according to the Bake the political report. But Wisconsin, along with Arizona, Georgia and Nevada, are considered Senate races, according to the same election tipster. The House is more of a challenge for Democrats as the party currently only has a four-seat advantage over Republicans. Twenty-four Democrats, compared to eight Republicans, are believed to be participating in coin tossing contests.

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