Report: Biden caved to pressure from Harris on student loan forgiveness

Though millions have long suspected that President Joe Biden is not truly the one calling the shots at the White House these days, and at least in terms of his recently-announced student loan forgiveness initiative, it is Vice President Kamala Harris who was actually pulling the strings, as the Washington Examiner reports.

Citing a story published in the New York Times, the outlet indicates that Biden was warned against the costly boondoggle by none other than Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen as well as first lady Jill Biden, but ultimately acquiesced to Harris’ desires on the matter.

Biden buckles

The program announced by Biden on Wednesday purports to wipe away billions of dollars in student loan debt by using taxpayer dollars, something many argue will only exacerbate existing economic turmoil.

According to the terms of the plan, up to $20,000 of outstanding obligations could be canceled for debtors earning less than $125,000 per year or married couples earning under $250,000 annually, depending on the type of loans held.

Biden was under significant pressure from the left flank of his party to facilitate at least some measure of student debt forgiveness, though questions always persisted as to whether he had the power to unilaterally grant their wishes without the assistance of Congress.

Indeed, those worries were reportedly shared by Yellen, who is in the throes of the battle to contain runaway inflation, and Mrs. Biden, who has in the past advocated for no-cost community college, but has not called for the elimination of existing student debt.

In the end, however, those voices were, according to the Times, drowned out by that of Harris, who even went so far as to have her staff create a memo that addressed every element of the president’s reluctance on an individual level, suggesting that because prior action pausing student loan payments had been taken under emergency pandemic-related authority, so, too, could partial forgiveness.

Critics take aim

Despite her apparent confidence in the notion that student debt forgiveness of the type announced by Biden was a clear winner, the onslaught of criticism that has since erupted since last week suggests that Harris may have done the president a grave disservice.

Robby Soave of Reason magazine echoed the sentiments of millions of Americans when he wrote that the entire proposition is “morally wrong,” that “Biden’s debt forgiveness plan will do nothing – absolutely nothing – to fundamentally change the incentive system that created the doom spiral in the first place,” and that it is “a slap in the face to everyone who either paid down their college debt or made different educational choices to avoid accruing it.”

Democrat Rep. Chris Pappas (RI) added his voice to those standing against Biden’s plan, according to Fox News, saying “Any plan to address student debt should go through the legislative process, and it should be more targeted and paid for, so it doesn’t add to the deficit. The president’s plan also doesn’t address the underlying issue of the affordability of higher education.”

Currently engaged in a heated re-election battle with Republican J.D. Vance, Rep. Tim Ryan (D-OH) broke from Biden as well, declaring the plan unnecessary for some and utterly unfair to many more, according to the Associated Press, saying, “waiving debt for those already on a trajectory to financial security sends the wrong message to the millions of Ohioans without a degree working just as hard to make ends meet.”

If it is indeed true that Harris was the one who pushed Biden to disregard advice to the contrary and commit yet another egregious executive overreach, that revelation serves as further evidence that the former senator from California has truly been an albatross on this administration, the likes of which the country has never seen.

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