Senator Murkowski Opposes Biden Administration’s Student Loan Proposal

Anchorage, AK – U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) provided the following statement after the Biden administration announced a student debt relief plan which includes a final extension of the zero percent interest student loan repayment pause, up to $20,000 in debt cancellation to Pell Grant recipients, and up to $10,000 in debt cancellation to non-Pell Grant recipients whose income falls below $125,000 for individuals and $250,000 for married couples. In addition, the administration is proposing a new income-based repayment plan for current and future borrowers.

“As I travel to communities across Alaska I continue to hear how individuals and families are being impacted by rising inflation—from paying for fuel to their grocery bills and other basic necessities. While cancelling some student loan debt for some Alaskans will help ease their budgets after the repayment pause expires, there is no such thing as ‘cancelling’ student loans. This action would add $300 billion to our national debt that every American will be on the hook to pay.

“I am empathetic to the burden of high student debt, and I’ve been working to try to reduce the cost of education to avoid these high debts in the first place. I also supported a pause on student loan repayments during the pandemic, but those who borrow money have a duty to repay it. It seems to have escaped the President’s notice that this debt is owed to the American people who finance student loans through their taxes—many of whom have no student loans. Additionally, this loan forgiveness does not recognize the sacrifice of many Americans who scrimped and saved to pay off their student loans. Nor will it help those who take on new student loan debt tomorrow and in the years to come, or those whose federal student loans are not owned by the federal government. 

“There are a number of other commonsense alternatives to address this issue, but this is not the appropriate path forward.”