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Tim Ryan breaks from Biden, own votes on student debt aid

Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, running for an open U.S. Senate seat in Ohio, speaks to supporters after the polls closed on primary election day Tuesday, May 3, 2022, in Columbus, Ohio.
Jay LaPrete
/
AP
Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, running for an open U.S. Senate seat in Ohio, speaks to supporters after the polls closed on primary election day Tuesday, May 3, 2022, in Columbus, Ohio.

When Democratic U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan spoke out against President Joe Biden’s student loan forgiveness plan this week, it marked a departure from some past statements and votes.

The decision to oppose a same-party president comes as Ryan is running a U.S. Senate campaign with a pro-working class message against Republican J.D. Vance.

Ryan criticized the president’s historic but politically divisive plan as unnecessary for some families and unfair to others.

“As someone who’s paying off my own family’s student loans, I know the costs of higher education are too high,” Ryan said in a statement released by his campaign. “And while there’s no doubt that a college education should be about opening opportunities, waiving debt for those already on a trajectory to financial security sends the wrong message to the millions of Ohioans without a degree working just as hard to make ends meet.”

That's after expressing support for student debt relief over the years and voting for legislation that forgave $10,000 for some college borrowers. His campaign said Biden's plan goes too far.

On Wednesday, President Biden announced a sweeping effort to forgive up to $20,000 of federal student loan debt for Pell Grant recipients, and up to $10,000 for other qualifying borrowers. Biden also extended the federal student loan payment pause through Dec. 31.