Representative Charges Colleges Encourage Piling on Student Debt

Educational institutions did not take kindly to a Republican’s proposal to rein in student debt. Rep. Glenn Grothman (R-WI) said he has experienced blowback from major colleges because they use the loans as a “selling point” for their schools.

Some institutions, he noted, support his attempts to get student loan debt under control, but many simply encourage young people to take on more.

Grothman said that the crush of $40,000-$60,000 in student loans interferes with what would be an ideal situation for the country. He said that by the time people are 24 or 25, “you should be married, have kids, (and be) buying a house.”

That, however, is barely possible with tens of thousands of dollars in loans to be repaid for college. He believes that the focus on how much money a student will make once they graduate needs to be balanced with the question: “Can you expect to pay this off?”

Grothman introduced the Fairness for Responsible Borrowers Act that seeks to stop the Biden administration from canceling all student loan debt. As he put it, sweeping student loan cancellation is “particularly insulting” for those who faithfully paid their debts or never went to college.

The president has said that he will issue a final decision by the end of August on whether he will cancel at least some of the $1.7 trillion owed by Americans in student loans. The federal pause on repayments of loans is set to close at the end of the month.

There are many, particularly within the Democratic Party, who see student loan forgiveness as a way to gain favor with certain voting blocs. Many also believe that the president should unilaterally wipe away debts without action taken by Congress.

Biden has said several times that he is uncertain whether he has the legal authority to wipe away large swaths of student loans. But he is well aware that a clock is ticking on Democratic control of Congress.

Many see it as highly unlikely that the president will try to curry favor, especially among young voters, by wiping the $1.7 trillion slate clean. But as the November midterms approach and Democrats see their grip on power about to slip away, it would be foolish to think they won’t consider it.