Sanders pushes back against ‘screaming Republicans’ over Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan

Senator Bernie Sanders on Sunday pushed back against Republicans who called President Joe Biden’s Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Plan unfair – Sanders saying the GOP has turned a blind eye to government aid in other sectors.

“I don’t hear any of these Republicans screaming when we’re giving massive tax breaks to billionaires,” Sanders, I-Vt., told ABC “This Week” anchor George Stephanopoulos.

“Suddenly when we do something for workers it’s a terrible idea,” he said.

While Sanders agreed with Biden’s decision to forgive some federal loans — up to $20,000 for Pell Grant recipients and up to $10,000 for individual federal loan recipients, both with a $125,000 income cap — the lawmaker also said it would go further by making public colleges and universities tuition-free to keep the United States “competitive in the global economy.” Sanders has long pushed for such a move.

Biden on Wednesday announced a three-part student loan relief plan, which he had been considering in one form or another since before he took office. The program is also continuing the COVID-19 pause on federal student loan repayments, pushing it to December, with payments resuming in January.

On “This Week,” Stephanopoulos pressed Sanders on fairness and scope arguments.

“Several of your fellow Democrats who are re-elected this year have criticized [the policy] as well,” he said, citing those who say Biden’s plan isn’t clearly funded, doesn’t address broader school affordability issues, and excludes people without loans who could still use the assistance.

Sanders agreed that while not everyone who needs help will get loan forgiveness, those who need help paying off student debt shouldn’t be ignored.

“Maybe, just maybe, we want to have a government that works for all workers and not just the people at the top,” he said.

He renewed his longstanding calls to raise the minimum wage, provide free health care and lower the cost of prescription drugs.

PHOTO: Senator Bernie Sanders is interviewed by ABC News' George Stephanopoulos on

Senator Bernie Sanders is interviewed by ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos on “This Week,” August 28, 2022.

ABC News

Stephanopoulos stressed that none of Sander’s proposals would be possible without a Democratic Senate, which will be decided midterm in November. Sanders said he believes the party – which he votes with on most issues – has a ‘reasonable chance’ of retaining the upper house due to the Supreme Court ruling removal of access to abortion nationwide.

“I think this decision is going to reflect very badly on Republicans who think women don’t have the right to control their own bodies,” he said.

“I certainly hope that we will have more than 50 [seats] in the Senate, that we get at least 52, so that we can start to move forward and protect workers in a way that we have not been able to do until now”, a- he declared.

Stephanopoulos also asked about the affidavit used to substantiate the FBI search from former President Donald Trump’s Mar-a-Lago home earlier this month regarding sensitive and classified documents the government says it took with it when it left the White House. (Trump denies wrongdoing; many Republicans say it’s a political attack.)

A redacted copy of the affidavit was released late last week and shows that at least 180 classified documents were recovered from Trump’s estate by the National Archives and Records Administration in February, some of which were labeled as “top secret”.

“It’s just incomprehensible to me,” Sanders said in response. “But again, when we talk about President Trump, there are a lot of incomprehensible things.”

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