Montana Governor Greg Gianforte and 21 other U.S. governors sent a letter to President Joe Biden on Monday advising him to withdraw the Student Loan Forgiveness Plan. The governors feel it will shift the loan burden onto American taxpayers. 

In mid-August, President Joe Biden announced that his administration would “cancel” student loan debt of up to 20,000 dollars for recipients who received Pell Grant and up to 10,000 dollars for non-Pell Grant recipients. 

In a letter addressed to President Biden, the 22 governors opposed the plan, claiming it would redistribute that debt to a majority of American taxpayers. They feel it will have more of a regressive impact on lower-income families in America, shifting the burden from the wealthy to working Americans. 

“As governors, we support making higher education more affordable and accessible for students in our states, but we fundamentally oppose your plan to force American taxpayers to pay off the student loan debt of an elite few – a plan that is estimated to cost the American taxpayer more than $2,000 each or $600 billion total, a price the people of our states cannot afford,” The governors stated in the letter.

The governors also point out that the plan comes at a poor time with rising inflation and could lead to unprecedented consequences. They fear the plan could drive inflation further and will encourage more student borrowing and boost higher school tuition rates. 

“A high-cost degree is not the key to unlocking the American Dream – hard work and personal responsibility is,” the governors wrote. “For many borrowers, they worked hard, made sacrifices, and paid off their debt. For many others, they chose hard work and a paycheck rather than more school and a loan. Americans who did not choose to take out student loans themselves should certainly not be forced to pay for the student loans of others.”

The last point the governors make in the letter is that Biden does not have the authority to “cancel” student loan forgiveness. They pull a quote from the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, in 2021, in which she states the president does not have the power for debt forgiveness; he can delay or postpone debt, but ultimately it is a decision made by Congress.

Click here to see the governors’ letter asking Biden to consider cutting the Student Loan Forgiveness Plan.