Twenty-two Republican governors asked President Joe Biden to reconsider his plan to offer federal student loan forgiveness for millions of borrowers.
Biden's plan calls for borrowers with incomes of up to $150,000 to receive up to $10,000 in federal student loan forgiveness. That amount increases to $20,000 for borrowers who received pell grants.
The 22 GOP governors say the plan is too expensive for taxpayers.
“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 governors said. “A high-cost degree is not the key to unlocking the American Dream—hard work and personal responsibility is.”
The governors said that the plan would further exacerbate already high inflation. The Consumer Price Index indicates that goods and services have increased 8.3% in the last year, which is down slightly from 9.1% in June, but remains well above historical norms.
“Rather than addressing the rising cost of tuition for higher education or working to lower interest rates for student loans, your plan kicks the can down the road and makes today’s problems worse for tomorrow’s students,” the governors wrote.
Not all Republican governors signed the letter to Biden. The GOP governors of Massachusetts, Indiana, Mississippi, Vermont, Virginia and West Virginia were not among the signees.
Not all Democrats expressed support for the plan. While some have joined in GOP opposition to forgiving any student loan, many were hoping Biden would cancel up to $50,000 in student loan debt.
A Penn University study found loan forgiveness would cost $469 billion to $519 billion to implement. They said with updated income-driven repayment plans and additional loan forbearance programs, the total cost could exceed $600 billion.
The Penn study found that most of the benefits of providing student loan forgiveness will go toward middle-income earners.
Proponents of debt forgiveness say relief is needed as the average cost of college tuition and fees has increased more than three-fold in the last four decades, according to federal data using 2021 dollars.