Mowers, Pappas Agree on Biden Student Forgiveness…Sort of
At first glance Rep. Chris Pappas and Republican primary candidate Matt Mowers appear to have found rare common ground against President Joe Biden's forgiveness of student loans.
Biden's plan will provide up to $20,000 in debt cancellation to Pell Grant recipients with loans held by the Department of Education, and up to $10,000 in debt cancellation to non-Pell Grant recipients, for borrowers with an individual income of less than $125,000.
Mowers issued a statement Wednesday siding with most Republicans against the plan.
“Joe Biden and Chris Pappas’ plan to raise taxes on everyday working-class families in New Hampshire to subsidize the student loans of Chris Pappas’ Harvard buddies is offensive. Instead of encouraging the bloated college education system to raise prices even higher, we must reform our higher education system and provide greater resources to technical degrees, not bailout the nation’s elite,” Matt Mowers said in a statement.
While the New Hampshire Democratic congressional delegation offered tepid support for the plan, Pappas offered the sharpest criticism.
"This announcement by President Biden is no way to make policy and sidesteps Congress and our oversight and fiscal responsibilities. 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," Pappas said "The president’s plan also doesn’t address the underlying issue of the affordability of higher education, and it is clear that the high cost continues to limit opportunities available to students."
During an interview as part of Seacoast Current's series of sit-downs with the candidates for the First Congressional District GOP primary Thursday, Mowers disagreed with the notion.
"What he said was he was against the process. What he hasn't told us is does he support or not transferring a bunch of college debt from folks who are now making six figures including a bunch of buddies of his from Harvard, to a bunch of people who are working everyday who chose a different path, whether it was to go into a trade or work with their hands. Maybe folks who chose to do this the responsible way by not taking out more college loans than they could afford,"Mowers said.
"I agree with him that President Biden does not have the authority to do what he's doing. But I want to know if Chris Pappas would vote for this if it came before him in the House of Representatives. He hasn't given us that answer yet," Mowers said.
Over eight million eligible people with loans will receive forgiveness automatically, as the Department of Education already has income information. A website with an application will be launched in the next few weeks.
Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH