- Sen. Mitt Romney slammed broad student-loan forgiveness, calling it a "bribe" for voters.
- This comes after Biden suggested openness to canceling at least $10,000 in student debt this summer.
- A growing number of GOP lawmakers have argued loan forgiveness will hurt taxpayers and the economy.
Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah ripped into the White House on Wednesday for considering widespread student loan forgiveness. He argued it could amount to a slippery slope for other types of debt forgiveness.
"Desperate polls call for desperate measures: Dems consider forgiving trillions in student loans" the Utah Republican wrote on Twitter. "Other bribe suggestions: Forgive auto loans? Forgive credit card debt? Forgive mortgages? And put a wealth tax on the super-rich to pay for it all. What could possibly go wrong?"
—Mitt Romney (@MittRomney) April 27, 2022
Biden's approval rating is hitting new lows in some surveys, particularly among younger voters. Democrats fear rising prices and voter discontent with the state of the economy will lead to a wipeout in the midterms.
After Biden extended the pause on student-loan payments for his fourth time in office, through August 31, many Republican lawmakers slammed the extension and the potential it could lead to broad student-loan forgiveness. Some even went so far as to introduce legislation — five GOP lawmakers on Wednesday put out the Stop Reckless Student Loan Actions Act, which would end the payment pause and prohibit Biden from canceling student debt in connection to a national emergency.
"The Biden Administration continues to call for a return to normalcy from the pandemic, while simultaneously extending emergency relief programs like the student loan repayment freeze," Sen. Richard Burr, one of the sponsors of the bill, said in a statement. "They can't have it both ways. Resuming student loan repayments is long overdue, especially in today's strong job market."
Still, it's looking like Biden is growing more open to the idea of providing broad relief. He told the Congressional Hispanic Caucus on Monday that he is open to forgiving at least $10,000 in student debt — which he pledged to do during his campaign — and his administration has indicated any relief will likely be implemented prior to the payment restart date in September.
In response to Romney's comments, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren — a leading lawmaker pushing for loan forgiveness — told Insider, "Is that the same Pandora's box that you think was opened up by having public K through 12?"
"We give our children an opportunity to get an education for free across this country, because we know that investing in our future citizens and our future workforce is good for the entire country," Warren added. "Student loan debt is not the same as credit card debt, mortgage debt or any other debts. That is good for our whole nation."
Democratic lawmakers have argued canceling student debt is long overdue.
"Think about what we're doing to young people in this country…" California Rep. Ro Khanna said at a student-debt rally on Wednesday. "We should commit from this administration on that no one should go into debt simply to get an education in this country."