Manchin calls Biden student loan decision ‘excessive’
Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) on Tuesday called President Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan excessive, arguing there are other ways to help people burdened by student debt.
“I just thought that it was excessive. I just respectfully disagree on that,” Manchin told reporters.
“I think there’s other ways. When people were calling me from back in West Virginia, I would give them all the options they had that would reduce their loan by going to work in the federal government,” he added.
Biden’s plan, unveiled last month, forgives up to $10,000 in federal student loan debt for borrowers making less than $125,000 annually and $20,000 in loans for Pell Grant recipients under the same income threshold.
When asked if that amount was too much, Manchin said forgiveness should be earned.
“I just thought there was a better way to do it. You have to earn it. You have to earn it,” he said.
Moderate Democrats, including those in swing districts, have raised concerns Biden’s plan will add to the inflation rate that is already at a 40-year high and have criticized it for costing taxpayers.
Meanwhile, progressive Democrats have hailed the move, calling it a real step toward helping the most needy deal with crippling college debt.
Biden’s plan also includes capping payments at 5 percent of borrowers’ monthly income and allows for current students with loans to be eligible for debt relief.
Additionally, the president extended a freeze on federal student loan payments and interest accrual until Dec. 31.