Democratic presidential contender Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) found herself mired in controversy over the weekend after she released her version of a student loan forgiveness plan.
Her plan would "establish a student loan debt forgiveness program for Pell Grant recipients who start a business that operates for three years in disadvantaged communities," she said on Twitter.
Yesterday I announced that, as president, I’ll establish a student loan debt forgiveness program for Pell Grant rec… https://t.co/7iBniNvVb9— Kamala Harris (@Kamala Harris) 1564281180.0
What was the reaction?
Unfortunately for Harris, the plan was not well received. In fact, it was widely mocked and condemned.
Critics said the program would be highly ineffective because few disadvantaged students start and maintain a successful business in low-income areas — the threshold that Harris' plan establishes to qualify for loan forgiveness — especially because they already have a mountain of student loan debt.
"How am I supposed to start a business if I can't pay my student loans?" one person responded.
One person mocked: "you heard it here first folks, by 2023 we CAN forgive 6 ppl's college debt."
"I work at an incubator in a university that is deeply committed to innovation in a city that has what feels like an incubator in every corner, and this is so absurd... a LOT of new businesses fail, and they take a lot of money and effort regardless of success. Who does this help?" another person questioned.
"What do we want? STUDENT LOAN FORGIVENESS FOR PELL GRANT RECIPIENTS When do we want it? AFTER OPERATING A BUSINESS FOR THREE YEARS IN DISADVANTAGED COMMUNITIES," another critic mocked.
How did Harris respond?
She issued a clarification Sunday explaining that while her plan establishes stringent guidelines for loan forgiveness, it also allocates $12 billion in direct capital to help minority entrepreneurs launch their business ventures.
Student loan relief for Pell Grant recipients is just one component of our plan to reduce the opportunity gap for B… https://t.co/p7Mz3hKM9u— Kamala Harris (@Kamala Harris) 1564349641.0