Pinkston News Service
WASHINGTON, DC—(Pinkston News Service)—Calling it “responsible and fair,” President Joe Biden recently unveiled the administration’s expected $500 billion Student Loan Debt Relief Plan, which, in his words, is necessary to “fix a badly broken system.” As Americans continue to voice strong opinions in the wake of the announcement, the head of one national veterans organization believes Biden’s plan does a huge disservice to active duty service members and veterans alike.
Marine Corps veteran Cole Lyle, who heads the nonpartisan organization Mission Roll Call, argues that many men and women who joined the military did so to not only defend their country in a time of war, but to benefit from a debt-free college education through the GI bill. And, their sacrifices should not be diminished.
“I used the GI Bill to go to school. I was self-aware enough out of high school to know that I wasn’t ready for college, and if I eventually wanted to go back to school, I would have that benefit,” said Lyle in a recent interview on FOX News Channel. “I signed with that implicit understanding that I would have that. I utilized it.”
Lyle, who served in Afghanistan, also pointed out that the administration’s justification for its student loan forgiveness plan was based on a federal law which he says “was explicitly designed for members of the military who were volunteering to sacrifice their lives after 9/11.”
The primary intent of the 2003 Higher Education Relief Opportunities For Students (HEROES) Act was to provide federal student loan relief for active duty personnel and National Guard members serving in a time of war, military operation or national emergency.
Lyle’s view also reflects that of other veterans. A poll conducted by his organization earlier this year found that more than 6,000 veterans (77%) are opposed to student loan forgiveness. And for that reason, Lyle was disappointed that they were shut out of the debate.
“We really weren’t seeing that perspective anywhere in the national debate surrounding this and I thought it was important to include,” Lyle told FOX News.
In an opinion piece published in May, Lyle added: “It was certainly the right of those who chose not to serve to find different [financing] options, but it should not be at the literal and figurative expense of those who served our nation.”
According to a recent CNBC survey, almost 60% of U.S. adults are concerned Biden’s plan will worsen inflation. Other surveys show a more mixed reaction. As for what’s next, it has been widely reported Biden’s plan could face legal challenges.