Biden’s student loan cancellation plan gets rid of the military’s ‘best recruiting incentive’ for free education, say 19 GOP lawmakers


Republican lawmakers fear President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan could deter Americans from joining the military.

Last week, 19 GOP lawmakers wrote a letter to Biden expressing concerns about his recent announcement $20,000 in debt forgiveness for federal borrowers earning less than $125,000 per year. They said there were “unintended consequences” with Biden’s unique general relief over military recruiting, particularly because he undermines the military’s ability to use free education as a tool for recruitment.

“By forgiving such a wide range of loans to borrowers, you remove any leverage that the Department of Defense maintained was one of the fastest and easiest ways to pay for higher education,” the lawmakers wrote. . “We recognize that loan forgiveness programs have their own problems, but it remains a key recruiting incentive.”

Rep. Don Bacon, one of the letter’s co-signers, also wrote on Twitter Monday that Biden’s “deeply flawed and unjust” student loan forgiveness plan will impose challenges “at the exact moment we are in a crisis of military recruiting.

As Republicans noted in the letter, Americans could choose to enlist in the military to receive a free education during or after the end of service, a benefit established for the first time in the IG invoice to help service members pay for their college, higher education and training programs. But they said as of the end of last month, the Army had only reached 66% of its recruiting goal for the year, and the cancellation of Biden’s student loan will “exacerbate” recruiting challenges. To that end, they asked the White House to provide information on whether military recruitment was considered when Biden decided on his debt relief policy, as well as how the administration plans to assist with recruitment after loan cancellation.

This is just the latest attempt by Republican lawmakers to push back on Biden’s debt relief. Since the plan was announced, many Republicans have called it costly and unfair to taxpayers, even saying it’s illegal because the president doesn’t have the power to write off millions of debt balances without congressional approval. Some went so far as to threaten take legal action to try to block redress in court.

Yet Democratic lawmakers and the White House have not bowed to GOP threats. The Biden administration has maintained it has the legal authority to cancel student debt provided for in the HEROES Act of 2003, which allows balances to be changed in relation to a national emergency, such as COVID-19 and it plans to continue to roll out the relief, with Debt cancellation requests set to become available in beginning of October.


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