The president is reportedly concerned that he has no policy plan for a major issue Americans care about while his potential Democratic rivals, Sen. Bernie Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, are on record with expansive plans to eliminate or reduce student loan debt. After seeing Warren’s promise to forgive $640 billion of student loan debt, fears were raised in the White House that the Democratic candidates could tap into the 2016 populist wave that helped Trump, according to the Washington Post.
“We don’t have a plan,” Trump complained to aides, according to the report.
Per Washington Post, Trump has complained to aides that he doesn't have a plan to counter Elizabeth Warren on student debt and worries she'll seize the populist mantle.https://t.co/omTBEv0r68— Sahil Kapur (@sahilkapur) December 6, 2019
Americans currently hold about $1.5 trillion of student loan debt and millions of students who went to college during the great recession have not been able to earn wages high enough to pay down that debt. About one in four Americans now have student loan debt, and the average amount of debt is above $37,000.
One recent poll, conducted by The Hill and Harris, found that 58 percent of registered voters would support a plan to make public colleges, universities and trade schools tuition-free. Those voters also supported a plan to eliminate student loan debt.
Meanwhile, Warren continues to push her plan as the most progressive in the field.
“The time for half-measures is over,” she said in April when it was introduced.