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Vice President Kamala Harris sidestepped a question about who will be paying for the government’s massive student loan handout program, instead opting to criticize the critics.
Confronted by a Fox News producer with the fact that the government has yet to provide concrete information regarding where the money will come from, Harris did not even attempt to provide an answer to the question.
“Well, let’s start with this. First of all, a lot of the same people who are criticizing what we rightly did in following through on a commitment that we made to forgive student loan debt, are the same people who voted for a tax cut for the richest Americans,” Harris said.
“So when we look at who is benefiting from this, 90% of the people who are going to benefit from student loan forgiveness make under $75,000 a year,” the vice president continued. “And that debt has been the reason that they’re unable to start a family, buy a home and pursue their piece of the American dream.”
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Harris, who was making an appearance for the Artemis 1 launch, which ended up being postponed, then fielded a question from another reporter about a space-related issue.
President Biden’s plan is to hand out $10,000 in federal student loans for anyone making under $125,000, or $250,000 for married couples. The number goes up to $20,000 of debt for Pell Grant recipients. Some estimates calculate the cost of the program to be upwards of $500 billion.
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Administration officials have yet to clarify how the proposal will be paid for in the long term, although Bharat Ramamurti, deputy director of the National Economic Council, has claimed that the plan is “fully paid for” by the amount of deficit reduction the administration is projecting for the year. Since the current plan calls for the government to forgive the debt, that means taxpayers are likely on the hook for much of the principal and interest is dumped on top of the nearly $31 trillion in existing U.S. debt.
The White House is also extending a pause on student loan payments through the end of the year. Coinciding with the announcement is a new Education Department proposal that allows borrowers to cap undergraduate loan repayment at 5% of their monthly income, adding to the cost to taxpayers of the handout.
Fox News’s Sarah Tobianski, Haris Alic, and Jessica Chasmar contributed to this report.