President Joe Biden’s historic action on federal student loan debt is temporarily on hold. Six Republican-led states sued to prevent the program from going into effect. No forgiveness can be processed while an appeal is underway, but the Biden administration indicates it plans to continue processing applications.
The temporary delay comes after the Supreme Court refused to hear an emergency appeal from the Brown County Taxpayers Association, represented by the same group that blocked aid to Black farmers last year. Despite pretending to care about “real Americans,” conservatives are actually giving a lot of us the finger with these antics.
The move against debt forgiveness comes after the Biden administration scaled back the relief in an attempt to minimize potential lawsuits. Federal student loans remain paused through the end of the year.
The current federal student loan pause began under former President Donald Trump at the outset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Recognizing the burden on many individuals, Congressional Democrats have advocated for making some degree of relief permanent.
Even as they denounce alleged spending by their colleagues across the aisle, some Republicans have touted the benefits of money going into their districts. Everybody wants to take credit, but few want to do the work actually to uplift people across the board.
Republicans have spent the past two years trying to deny us better
When you hear Republicans claiming they are opposing Joe Biden and the Democrats, keep in mind there are a lot of policies that were extended and money made available to individuals, states and communities across the country since Biden’s election. And there’s always room to criticize Democrats on things they’ve failed to do.
Now is the time to get real about how Republicans are playing America right now. Block student debt relief, insurrection, mainstreaming conspiracy theories and undermining Democracy are just the tip of the iceberg. It’s understandable that people are frustrated with the tight strain felt at the pump or when paying for basic necessities.
But prices aren’t going to magically go down because a new party takes control in Congress.
Tax cuts and loosening regulations will not make things better for Americans. And even with so-called “energy independence,” we would need someone to make the oil industry stop price gouging. Corporations have yet to prove that they pass on savings to the consumers, even with massive bailouts and tax cuts. Meanwhile, top executives and board members see dollar signs.
Republicans have not shown they are any better equipped to improve economic conditions or the quality of life for the average person. Opposing student debt relief is just one-way conservatives have worked against people. Families, workers, children, disabled people and more need leadership that will make sure they are putting the issues and needs first, not political cliques.
Here are a few things Republicans have blocked just to stick it to the other side.
Aid to Black and distressed farmers
Several lawsuits were filed against provisions in the American Rescue Plan that would have addressed longstanding discrimination against Black and other distressed farmers. Former Trump advisor Steven Miller and groups like the Wisconsin Institute for Law and Liberty have tried to act like repairing the harm caused by the USDA over generations is akin to reverse racism.
White farmers have historically benefited from USDA programs. They also received an overwhelming majority of the funding provided by the Trump administration’s emergency relief to farmers at the start of the pandemic. Some aid to distressed farmers was made available in the Inflation Reduction Act. But it does not address the losses to Black farmers specifically.
Expanded child tax credit
The expanded child tax credit increased the amount of the award and expanded how was eligible. Also, for the second half of 2021, parents with eligible children received a monthly cash payment. The benefit slashed child poverty and put needed funds in the hands of parents struggling to make ends meet. The fixation on controlling the pennies given to poor people while major corporations get away with highway robbery is astonishing but never surprising.
Enhanced unemployment benefits
It was all good when folks were getting their PPP checks. But in mid-2021, Republican-led states moved to end the enhanced unemployment benefits that were a lifeline for millions sidelined during the COVID-19 pandemic.
$35 insulin cap
During their only Senate debate, Republican nominee Herschel Walker tried to blame people with diabetes for needing insulin in response to Sen. Raphael Warnock touting his support for capping insulin costs. Senate Republicans blocked a provision that would’ve capped the cost of insulin in the private market.
After spending years unsuccessfully trying
Emergency rental assistance
Republican lawmakers blocked emergency federal aid to renters in early 2021. According to Bloomberg, Republican-controlled states received a disproportionate amount of funding but often delayed disbursement.
At least the Grinch learned the meaning of giving and sharing and his heart grew a few sizes bigger. Too bad the same can’t happen for conservatives and their chosen representatives.
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