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Voters Remember Biden's Student Loan Promise

INTRO: When Joe Biden was running for President, he promised relief for people with student loans. His plan was to cancel up to ten thousand dollars of debt for each borrower.

Now a year later, President Biden has not made good on that promise. And as Shantel Destra reports, Americans have not forgotten.

DESTRA: One of the ways Joe Biden won the primaries against Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren was to JOIN THEM IN in support of student loan forgiveness. That excited progressives.

ALAN COLLINGE: This lending system is catastrophically galactically failed.

DESTRA: That is Alan Collinge. Founder of Student Loan Justice.

COLLINGE: Quite frankly, Joe Biden has an obligation to act on those campaign promises. And unfortunately, since he's become president after the election, he seems to be backsliding in a really brazen and blatant way.

DESTRA: Collinge says that the only way to address the ongoing student debt crisis is for President Biden to take executive action. And a lot of BIDENS supporters are impatient.

DESTRA: Misty Wyscarver (WISE- CARVER) is a 55-year-old library software trainer and mom of four. She has about two hundred thousand dollars in student loan debt for her and her kids.

Wyscarver been writing emails to her Senators a pushing them to get behind student debt cancellation. And …. she places significant blame on President Biden.

She says she will not vote for him in 2024 if he does not cancel a portion of her loans (0:22)

WYSCARVER: You have no idea how excited I was how hopeful I was that this debt was going to be lifted. I'm very disappointed in the overall actions that President Biden has taken. It's baby steps, it's piecemeal. So I just feel that he could do so much more. He could write this injustice that we've been suffering for so long.

DESTRA: Polls show the majority of voters support some form of debt forgiveness.

But voters widely disagree on who should get the benefit and how much they should get.

Michael Spellman is a 43-year-old business owner who paid off forty-thousand dollars for his own student loans. He says people should be responsible for their own DEBT. (0:29)

SPELLMAN: It's going to be money coming out of my paycheck to pay for somebody else's student loans, that's really not actually going to significantly improve their their situation at all. And it just was a completely foolish idea.

DESTRA: And one that may never happen. Midterm Elections are looming. President Biden is fighting to keep his democratic majority in Congress. The reality is … upholding his campaign promise may not happen before the next Presidential Election.

Shantel Destra, Columbia Radio News.


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