COLUMBIA, SC (WSPA) — Politicians from South Carolina are sharing their thoughts on President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan.
Data from the US Department of Education shows more than 700,000 federal student loan borrowers live in South Carolina.
South Carolina Republicans have come out against the plan. Senator Tim Scott wrote on Twitter Wednesday morning, “My mom didn’t go to college. She worked two jobs to keep the lights on & provide for my brother & me. President Biden wants Frances Scott & millions of other Americans to pick up the student loan bill for the wealthiest among us who carry the majority of the debt. That’s wrong.”
South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster and his office referred to the plan as the ‘Biden Administration’s Debt Forgiveness Scheme’. He also blasted the plan in a statement released Wednesday.
The Governor also said he was concerned about the impact the plan will have on inflation. “This the kind of thing that would result in more money spending by the government…This is the kind of thing that also has a negative impact on inflation. That’s the last thing we need more of right now,” he told reporters.
Some South Carolina Democrats like state Senator Marlon Kimpson celebrated the announcement on Twitter. We reached out to other state lawmakers who endorsed President Biden in 2020, they were not available for comment by the deadline Wednesday.
House Majority Whip Rep. Jim Clyburn (D-SC 06) praised the plan. He released a statement Wednesday. He wrote:
“Today is a life-changing day for the more than 731,000 South Carolinians with federal student loan debt. President Biden is keeping his promise to help alleviate the crushing burden of student loan debt and his actions today will result in real relief for many borrowers.
“Up to $20,000 in federal student loan debt cancellation to Pell Grant recipients and up to $10,000 in federal student loan debt cancellation for non-Pell Grant recipients are significant steps in and of themselves, but those with remaining balances will also see their future payments decrease significantly as a result of President Biden’s action with income-based repayment plan payments cut in half.
“Borrowers of color will benefit significantly because, on average, they borrow more to attend college and earn less after graduation compared to white students. This is an important step to help address the racial wealth gap and economic inequities that continue to plague this country.
“This comes on the heels of President Biden expanding access to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program. That action last October has resulted in 175,000 borrowers, currently working in public sector jobs like teaching and policing, realizing $10 billion in debt relief. Anyone eligible for this program should apply by the October 31 deadline this year.
“I am pleased by the additional actions announced today and will continue working with the Biden-Harris Administration to make higher education accessible and affordable for all by lowering the cost of higher education, increasing federal need-based aid, like the Pell Grant, and providing the tools necessary for students to complete their post-secondary education.”House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn