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Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., on Sunday responded to examples of Democrats criticizing President Biden’s $500,000,000,000 student loan handout by saying the “criticism is correct” before arguing that the “answer is not to deny help to people who cannot deal with these horrendous student debts.”
“Well, the truth is, in a sense that criticism is correct,” Sanders, who caucuses with Senate Democrats, said on ABC’s “This Week.”
Anchor George Stephanopoulous said Sens. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., and Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., along with Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, have voiced criticism of the proposal.
Sen. Bernie Sanders said that he agreed with some Democrat criticism of President Biden’s student loan handout, but said he doesn’t think the answer is to deny help to "people who cannot deal with these horrendous student debts." (Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images)
“The answer is maybe, just maybe, we want to have a government that works for all working people and not just the people on top,” Sanders said.
“Maybe we should have the courage to take on the drug companies and not pay ten times more for a particular drug than they do in other countries, so the answer is, not to do what Republicans want to do,” Sanders continued. “‘Oh, it’s unfair to this person because we’re helping that person.’ The answer is maybe to create a government which works for all people and not just the wealthy campaign contributors.”
Earlier this past week, Sen. Bennet wrote in a press release that the student loan handout should have “further targeted the relief, and proposed a way to pay for this plan.”
Sen. Michael Bennet, D-Colo., seen in the middle, said a few days ago that President Biden’s student loan handout should have "further targeted the relief" and "proposed a way to pay for this plan." (Al Drago/Bloomberg)
“While immediate relief to families is important, one-time debt cancellation does not solve the underlying problem,” Bennet said. “So I’m pleased to see reforms to income-driven repayment plans and the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.”
“Moving forward, we need to reform the system that got us here in the first place with solutions to bring down the absurd cost of college,” he continued. “We cannot continue to trap another generation of Americans in this cruel cycle.”
Rep. Tim Ryan, who is running for the open Senate seat in Ohio, said in a statement released by the campaign a few days ago that it “sends the wrong message to the millions of Ohioans without a degree working just as hard to make ends meet.”
Rep. Tim Ryan said a few days ago that Biden’s student loan handout "sends the wrong message" to Ohioans who don’t have a degree and are "working just as hard to make ends meet." (Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
Ryan went on to say that the Biden administration should be working on pushing a tax cut for working- and middle-class families.
“There’s a lot of people out there making 30, 40 grand a year that didn’t go to college. And they need help as well, which is why I’ve been proposing a tax cut for working people that will affect everybody,” Ryan said during a CNN interview on Sunday. “With the student loan piece [in my proposal], you could very easily allow them to negotiate — renegotiate down the interest rates.”
Cameron Cawthorne is a Fox News Digital editor