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The Politics Behind Blocking Student Debt Relief

A lot of Republicans signed on to the law suit to block Biden’s modest plan to give some student loan relief. Republicans in deep red districts where there are enough Republicans to win elections without any independents, swing voters or moderates have nothing to worry about. Most of these extremist Republicans like are in districts red enough so it doesn’t matter what they do. No Democrats are ever going to beat Gym Jordan (R+20), Jason Smith (R+28), Kevin Hern (R+14), Barry Loudermilk (R+11), John Rose (R+17), Paul Gosar (R+16), Jerry Carl (R+16), Andy Biggs (R+11), Alex Mooney (R+22), Gary Palmer (R+18), Brian Babin (R+18), Barry Moore (R+17), August Pfluger (R+23), Mike Johnson (R+14), Jodey Arrington (R+26), Harriet Hageman (R+25), Ronny Jackson (R+26) or Andrew Clyde (R+22). Let’s leave them out of this for now and instead think about these fools:

  • Lauren Boebert (CO)- won with 50.08%

  • Mike Lawler (NY)- won with 50.23%

  • Brandon Williams (NY)- won with 50.49%

  • Lori Chavez-DeRemer (OR)- won with 51.0%

  • Don Bacon (NE)- won with 51.3%

  • Anthony D’Esposito (NY)- won with 51.8%

  • Kevin Calvert (CA)- won with 52.3%

  • Michelle Steel (CA)- won with 52.4%

  • Mike Garcia (CA)- won with 53.2%

  • Marionette Miller-Meeks (IA)- won with 53.4%

  • Kevin Kiley (CA)- won with 53.6%

  • Scott Perry (PA)- won with 53.8%

  • Ashley Hinson (IA)- won with 54.1%

  • Nick LaLota (NY)- won with 55.5%

How popular is cancelling at least some student debt with voters? Overwhelmingly so with Democrats (81%) but also a majority position with Independents (52%) and relatively popular with Republicans (45%). In all 60% of Americans are in favor and just 34% oppose it.

But Republicans are doubling down. Yesterday Senate Republicans, led by Bill Cassidy (R-LA)— the same guy demanding the retirement age be raised to 70— announced they’re introducing a resolution to overturn Biden’s student loan partial forgiveness plan. John Cornyn and Joni Ernst collaborated with him and they have 35 other Republican co-sponsors: John Barrasso (R-WY), Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), John Boozman (R-AR), Mike Braun (R-IN), Ted Budd (R-NC), Shelley Moore Capito (R-WV), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), Mike Crapo (R-ID), Steve Daines (R-MT), Deb Fischer (R-NE), Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Bill Hagerty (R-TN), Josh Hawley (R-MO), John Hoeven (R-ND), Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-MS), Ron Johnson (R-WI), John Kennedy (R-LA), James Lankford (R-OK), Cynthia Lummis (R-WY), Roger Marshall (R-KS), Mitch McConnell (R-KY), Jerry Moran (R-KS), Markwayne Mullin (R-OK), James Risch (R-ID), Mitt Romney (R-UT), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Eric Schmitt (R-MO), Rick Scott (R-FL), Tim Scott (R-SC), John Thune (R-SD), Thom Tillis (R-NC), Tommy Tuberville (R-AL), Roger Wicker (R-MS), and Todd Young (R-IN). Manchin isn’t a co-sponsor but he’s a likely aye vote.

Meanwhile, Virginia fascist Bob Good introduced a companion resolution in the House. The way conservatives work their divide-and-conquer strategy on this was demonstrated by Cassidy who said “Where is the relief for the man who skipped college but is paying off his work truck, or the woman who paid off her loans and is now struggling to afford her mortgage? This resolution prevents these Americans, whose debts look different from the favored group the Biden administration has selected, from picking up the bill for this irresponsible and unfair policy.”

The only Republican senator opposing student debt forgiveness who's facing a tough reelection battle and is co-sponsoring this travesty is Josh Hawley of Missouri, who is being challenged by Lucas Kunce. "How can anyone think our government works for them," Kunce said to me today, "when restarting student loan payments for millions of Americans in need of relief is a top priority, but making giant corporations actually pay taxes isn’t? That’s a question Josh Hawley, son of a bank president, will never answer."

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