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Only 30% of Americans approve of Biden’s student loan handouts

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President Biden’s student loan handouts have been a focal point of his presidential campaign, but a new national poll shows that only 30% of Americans approve of how he has handled the issue. The poll, conducted by the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research, found that 4 in 10 adults disapprove of Biden’s approach to student loan debt. The results also revealed a divide among those responsible for unpaid student loan debt, with just 36% of respondents approving of Biden’s handling of the handouts.

Despite the lackluster approval ratings, Biden is moving forward with a new student loan cancelation plan in an effort to energize young adults, Black, and Hispanic Americans who are more likely to prioritize student loan relief. However, the poll results indicate that these groups have shown flagging approval for the president’s actions. After the Supreme Court struck down Biden’s first attempt at widespread student loan relief last year, he proposed a more targeted plan that would offer relief to specific categories of borrowers. The Biden administration has already erased student debt for about 4 million people through existing programs.

The poll also revealed that Americans have a less favorable view of the Supreme Court’s handling of student loan handouts, with only 15% approving of its work on the issue. Biden’s new plan aims to erase some or all debt for various groups, including those with accrued interest exceeding their original loan amount, borrowers who have been repaying undergraduate loans for at least 20 years, and those who attended low-value college programs that leave graduates with excessive debt relative to their earnings.

Despite the wide-ranging nature of Biden’s plan, none of the categories outlined in the proposal have majority support among Americans. Just under half of respondents supported relief for those making on-time payments for 20 years, while 44% backed relief for individuals who owe more on their loans than they initially borrowed. Approximately 4 in 10 respondents supported relief for those who attended institutions with high debt-to-income ratios or those facing various forms of financial hardship. The poll also found that younger adults are more likely to prioritize government action on student debt, with about half of individuals under 45 considering it extremely or very important compared to 30% of older adults.

Overall, the poll showed that about 4 in 10 adults believe it is extremely or very important for the federal government to provide student debt relief, while a similar share said it is not important at all. A quarter of respondents fell somewhere in the middle, considering student debt relief to be somewhat important. The divide in opinion was also seen along party lines, with just 15% of Republicans viewing government action on student debt as extremely or very important compared to 58% of Democrats. Republicans often argue that taxpayers should not be burdened with repaying other people’s college debt.

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