Democrat Raphael Warnock Boasts About Leading Charge to Cancel Student Debt: ‘This Is Only a First Step’

FILE - In this June 15, 2021 file photo, Sen. Raphael Warnock, D-Ga., speaks to a reporter
AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite

Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-GA) celebrated President Joe Biden’s announcement Wednesday that he will erase some student loan debt for millions of Americans.

Warnock, who has long pushed for the administration to cancel student debt, put out a statement from his office Wednesday saying Biden’s announcement came after months of Warnock’s “tireless advocacy and coalition building.”

“This announcement will help many Georgians, some of whom have been struggling with debt for decades, get their financial footing, and it will help keep our economy strong and growing,” Warnock said. “That’s why I’ve been pushing the Biden Administration since my swearing in to take aggressive action to provide relief to Georgians.”

Biden, who has spent his first year and a half in office passing multitrillion-dollar spending packages, said this new government subsidy will come in the form of a $10,000 debt cancelation for those student loan holders making under $125,000. Pell Grant recipients will be eligible for an additional $10,000.

Biden will also extend the loan cancellation to those with debt for their master’s and doctorate degrees.

Asked by a reporter Wednesday if the debt cancellation was fair to those who have paid their student loans or opted not to take out loans, Biden did not answer and, instead, replied sharply, “Is it fair to people who, in fact, do not own multibillion-dollar businesses to see why these guys get all the tax breaks? Is that fair? What do you think?”

Another reporter reemphasized the question, asking, “What about people who paid their loans, though — struggled to pay their loans?” as Biden exited the room without responding.

White House

In April, Warnock joined members of the far-left flank of his party, including Reps. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA) and Ilhan Omar (D-MN), in calling for “swift executive action on meaningful student debt cancellation,” which they claimed would “help narrow the racial wealth gap” and “boost our economic recovery.”

In May, Warnock, along with Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), met with Biden in the Oval Office to urge cancellation of student debt. Warnock said at the time that the meeting was “productive.”

On Friday, Warnock again joined Warren and Schumer in a meeting, this time with White House chief of staff Ron Klain and National Economic Council Director Brian Deese, to again push for student debt cancellation.

Warnock said after Biden announced his new plan Wednesday that the loan cancellations are “only a first step” and warned he would be pushing for even more giveaways for college-educated individuals “left struggling” with debt.

“This is only a first step for the countless Georgia borrowers who will still be burdened by crushing debt tomorrow, and the day after that. So I’m going to keep fighting for additional student relief for all Georgians left struggling with student debt and to prevent future borrowers from carrying that same burden,” Warnock said.

Warnock is up for reelection this year in a tight Senate race against Republican Herschel Walker, a well-liked former football legend in Georgia who is opposed to student loan cancellation.

U.S. Senate candidate Herschel Walker speaks to supporters during an election night watch party, Tuesday, May 24, 2022, in Atlanta. Walker won the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate in Georgia's primary election. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Senate candidate Herschel Walker speaks to supporters on primary election night, May 24, 2022, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/Brynn Anderson)

Walker also issued a statement Wednesday after Biden’s announcement about the loans, citing the National Tax Union’s analysis that average American taxpayers would foot the bill created by Biden’s plan and ultimately bear an additional estimated tax burden of about $2,000 on average. Walker also cited the Penn Wharton Budget Model’s study that found that the president’s new program would cost the government between $300 billion and $980 billion.

Warnock advocating for such a plan is an indication that the Georgia Democrat’s “reckless spending knows no limits,” Walker said.

“What does this plan for student loans do for folks who worked to get through college? For ones who already paid off their loans? What about the family that used their life savings to send their kid to college?” Walker asked. “We should absolutely work to make college more affordable but Warnock’s plan does nothing to do that. Instead, he wants to raise taxes on hard-working Georgians and push inflation even higher than he already has.”

Write to Ashley Oliver at Follow her on Twitter at @asholiver.


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