McMorris Rodgers Statement on President Biden’s Student Loan Giveaway

Debt Forgiveness Plan Benefits Households Earning 4x Eastern Washington’s Median Income, Unfairly Raises Taxes on Hardworking Americans

Spokane, Wash. – Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) today released the following statement after President Biden unveiled his plans to transfer up to $20,000 in student loan debt from borrowers to taxpayers who either already paid off their debts or never incurred any in the first place.

“Last week, President Biden signed legislation to raise taxes on nearly every single American. Today, he is doubling down on misguided economic policy by canceling up to $20,000 in student debt for individuals who made the conscious choice to take out loans for higher education. This action is a dramatic overreach of his authority, and it’s a slap in the face to every hardworking person in Eastern Washington who will now have to foot the bill.

“Taking out loans to pursue a college degree is a personal choice. Part of making that decision is accepting responsibility for repaying the money you borrowed. Passing the burden of paying this debt to taxpayers–who either already paid off their loans or never took on any in the first place–is unfair to those who played by the rules and will only lead to more inflation and higher costs for those who can least afford them. Our goal should be to lower the cost of higher education for all Americans, which has skyrocketed nearly 200 percent over the last 40 years, not giving handouts to highly educated borrowers on the backs of everyone else.

“While pretending the president can make debt disappear with the stroke of a pen may sound nice, it’s a pie-in-the-sky belief that fundamentally defies basic economics. Families are already paying an extra $500 per month thanks to record-high inflation, and adding $300 billion to the deficit will only make things worse. The American people cannot afford Democrats spending like kids in a candy store.”

KEY FACTS:

  • Biden’s debt transfer would cost between $300 billion and $980 billion over the next 10 years. 
  • According to the U.S. Census Bureau, this plan benefits households earning more than 4 times the median household income in Eastern Washington.
  • About 70 percent of debt relief will go to households in the top 60 percent of earners.
  • With the worst inflation in 40 years, families are already paying an extra $536 per month (nearly $6,500 a year). Piling on to the deficit will only cause prices to climb even higher.
  • Transferring student debt does nothing to curtail the runaway cost of higher education and emboldens colleges to continue hiking tuition.
  • Student loan debt will return to its current level of $1.6 trillion in just four years.

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