7th District GOP candidate weighs in on student loan forgiveness plan

Published: Aug. 30, 2022 at 9:24 AM EDT
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ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - The White House’s plan to forgive up to $20,000 for some student loans is sparking heated debate.

“This is nothing but a handout to the upper class during an election year in an attempt to by voters,” Yesli Vega said.

Vega is the Republican challenger running against incumbent 7th District Representative Abigail Spanberger.

“The first thing that comes to mind is my mother, who has a small cleaning business, and the ladies that work with her. These are women that work hard, who are struggling because of inflation to put food on the table, and now are getting stuck paying a debt that they never took out. And so I think that it’s grossly unfair,” Vega said.

The candidate suggests the government should look elsewhere: “You have to look at these institutions who are sitting on billions of dollars. How about we lower the cost of tuition? How about we make education affordable so that our children are not leaving universities, colleges across America with this, you know, crazy amount of debt,” Vega said.

In a statement, Rep. Spanberger also directed attention to universities:

“I will keep demanding that we address the root cause of this problem — the affordability crisis in American higher education. Both Republicans and Democrats need to work together to make college and workforce training programs more affordable, not just focus on band-aid solutions.”

The Democrat has not yet said whether she supports President Joe Biden’s plan or not, something Vega is asking her to clarify.

“I think that voters have a right to know,” Vega said.

In a statement, Spanberger says she is waiting until she knows more details:

“I will be pressing the White House and the U.S. Department of Education to release additional information about how this order will be implemented. Over the last few weeks, the rollout of this announcement has been riddled with shifting timelines, confusing messages, and unanswered questions — and Virginians deserve to know more about how this initiative will deliver for them and how they should be planning for the future.”

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