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Daines, Tester comment on the student loan forgiveness plan

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Posted at 1:50 PM, Aug 24, 2022
and last updated 2022-08-25 11:14:06-04

KALISPELL - President Joe Biden announced Wednesday that his administration will forgive up to $20,000 worth of student loan debt for borrowers who received Pell Grants.

People who didn't receive a Pell Grant are eligible for up to $10,000 in loan forgiveness, the president said on Twitter. The government will only cancel debt for people making less than $125,000 a year.

It's still unclear how the plan will be implemented. Biden was expected to make a formal announcement Wednesday afternoon.

MTN News reached out to Montana's two US Senators for their reaction to the news.

I think it's a terrible idea. I think about how many hardworking Montanans might have had a student loan and worked hard to pay it off. And now they're going to forgive the student loans. I had a student loan when I graduated from Montana State University. And I worked hard and got it paid off. What's going to happen here is they're transferring that debt from students, oftentimes graduate students, now it's going to shift to the taxpayers and hardworking Montanans. I think it's wrong. It's a bad idea, and I hope we can stop it. - US Sen. Steve Daines (R-MT)

The Republican shared his views with MTN News during a Wednesday visit to the new Applied Materials building in Kalispell to discuss how the CHIPS and Science Act will help the Montana technology sector and increase job opportunities.

A spokesperson from US Sen. Jon Tester (D-MT) issued the following statement to MTN News:

Senator Tester understands that students and young people across Montana are facing real challenges due to the high costs of student loans. He believes solutions should be focused on addressing the underlying challenges of college affordability, which is why he opposed proposals from members of his own party to forgive all student-loan debt wholesale. Senator Tester is reviewing today’s narrow decision to assess its impact on Montanans, and he will continue fighting to make sure all Montana students have access to an affordable, quality education that will help them invest in their futures and grow our economy.

- information from Kiana Wilson included in this report.