Opposition to President Joe Biden’s federal student loan forgiveness plan comes in many forms and covers many reasons, but many of the criticisms voiced in a new public forum ring exactly the same.
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The plan, announced in August, would forgive up to $20,000 in federal student debt per borrower. But it was stalled due to a series of lawsuits challenging its legality, costs and tax impact.
Earlier this month, the US Department of Education announced separate proposals to reform income-based repayment (IDR) plans for student loan borrowers. The proposed changes include allowing borrowers to pay no more than 5% of their discretionary income per month on their college student loan, Business Insider reported. It’s down from its current 10%. Additionally, the reforms would offer $0 monthly payments to individual borrowers making less than $30,600 a year and to any borrower in a family of four making less than $62,400.
In an effort to get more feedback, the Department of Education recently opened a public comments section on the Federal Register that allows people to submit comments on loan forgiveness proposals and plan. The comments section first appeared on January 20, 2023 and will be available for 30 days.
As of January 25, nearly 2,400 comments had been posted on the forum. Many of those who oppose the loan reduction follow exactly the same script, indicating that they are part of an organized effort to oppose the loan forgiveness plan and the Department of Education’s reform proposals.
The 229-word opposition message begins with individual commentators giving their names and saying they are “writing to oppose this regulation to ‘cancel’ student debt.” The message then states that “the regulation is extremely reckless as it is economically unstable, totally unfair, completely illegal and would only make the problem it claims to solve worse. “
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Additionally, the message states that student debt relief is “fundamentally unfair to anyone who chose not to attend college because of the cost, those who fought their way through college to avoid debt, and those who paid its debt as promised”.
Numerous other criticisms are also included, such as how the plan “would contribute to the skyrocketing cost of college,” worsen the nation’s debt crisis, and “disproportionately boast the wealthy.”
Despite the pushback, the Education Department still aims to implement its reforms this year, according to Business Insider. It seems unlikely that the department will be swayed by the criticism on the public forum.
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It’s also doubtful that public comments will have much impact on the legal proceedings involving the plan. Next month, the US Supreme Court will review a pair of lawsuits against the plan to determine whether the plan is legal.
Meanwhile, the loan forgiveness plan received rare good news when Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes, a Democrat, recently dismissed a lawsuit filed against the plan. As GOBankingRates reported, the lawsuit was filed on Sept. 29, 2022 by former AG Mark Brnovich, a Republican.
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This article originally appeared on GOBankingRates.com: Student Loan Forgiveness: Will Comments on Department Ed’s Website Opposing Biden’s Plan Affect Supreme Court Decision?