April 14, 2024

Biden officials host TikTok influencers to pitch student loan forgiveness plan amid skepticism

Though the White House is hoping that widespread student loan forgiveness will be just the electoral boon the president needs to revive lagging support among young voters, many obstacles to success remain.

Even so, the Biden administration last week hosted a group of TikTok influencers as a means to generate awareness of its latest debt cancellation initiative, though skepticism among some attendees reportedly remained, as the Daily Mail reports.

White House hosts briefing

The administration continues its push to court social media influencers such as those with a prominent presence on TikTok, despite siding with those who wish to see the platform on which they earn their living banned in this country.

Despite that apparent contradiction, Biden administration officials recently hosted roughly 30 such individuals to pitch the supposed benefits of the president's student debt forgiveness plans, which would cancel another $7.4 billion in loans on top of what other programs have already eliminated.

Among those on hand for the briefing were TikTokers Harry Sisson and Vitus Shehar, two personalities who have amassed large followings on the platform, particularly among the young.

Forgiveness touted by White House

Hosting the influencers were Neera Tanden and Viviann Anguiano of Biden's Domestic Policy Council, and they did their best to convince attendees of the benefits they were poised to receive.

They told those present that at least part -- perhaps even all -- of their student debt obligations would not have to be repaid, all thanks to the president's determined action.

Some attendees noted that they were not currently in debt repayment, but those who were reportedly expressed cautiously optimistic gratitude.

Some referenced the U.S. Supreme Court's 2023 rejection of Biden's prior foray into loan forgiveness, however, as reasons for current concern and doubt about what might actually happen.

Even so, Anguiano declared that the administration maintains that the Supreme Court was wrong in its decision last year and that different statutory authority was being used to achieve this round of forgiveness in order to prevent a similar outcome.

Opposition builds

Though it is clear that Biden believes his student loan gambit could be just what the doctor ordered in terms of lifting his favorability numbers among young voters, Republicans are making sure that the electorate understands the inherent unfairness they believe the plan represents.

Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-LA) held little back in his assessment of the situation, saying, “These loan schemes do not forgive debt. They transfer the debt from those who willingly took it on to the 87% of Americans who decided not to go to college or already worked to pay off their loans. This is an unfair ploy to buy votes before an election and does absolutely nothing to address the high cost of education that puts young people right back into debt,” giving voice to a sentiment with which millions already agree.

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