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Oklahoma Gov. Stitt joins other GOP governors in criticizing Biden student loan forgiveness plan

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The Governor's Office
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More than 20 Republican governors signed a letter to the Biden administration criticizing his plan to pay off student loan debt for millions of borrowers.

Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt was one of them.

"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 letter said.

Estimates vary widely, though some experts estimate the cost of Biden’s plan will be closer to half the total the governors stated.

Stitt and his GOP colleagues write that isn’t an equitable distribution because only between 16 and 17 percent of the population has federal student loans. Those percentages represent more than 40 million people.

In Oklahoma, the Biden plan will likely bring relief to many. Hundreds of thousands of Oklahomans have federal student loan debt.

According to the U.S. Department of Education, 38.8% of Oklahoma federal student loan borrowers have less than $10,000 in debt, and of those, residents under the income cap will see their student debt wiped clean under the policy. The average Oklahoma student loan borrower owes $31,525, and 12.3% of Oklahoma residents have student loan debt.

The letter represents a signal to Biden about resistance to his plan. Analysts say legal challenges to the policy are almost certain to arise.

Robby Korth joined StateImpact Oklahoma in October 2019, focusing on education reporting.
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