‘No Bailouts for Campus’: Will Joe Biden block anti-Israel protesters from getting student loan forgiveness?

As anti-Israel protesters across US campuses promise to continue despite the crackdown, Senator Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) has introduced a legislation to prohibit anyone convicted of a state or federal crime related to a school protest from receiving any federal student loan relief.

Pro-Palestinian student protestors and activists clash with counter-protesters during a rally on the campus of University of Chicago in Chicago, Illinois, on May 3, 2024. Pro-Palestinian protests that have rocked US campuses for weeks were more muted Friday after a series of clashes with police, mass arrests and a stern White House directive to restore order. (Photo by Alex Wroblewski / AFP)(AFP)

Cotton’s ‘No Bailouts for Campus’ is backed by eighteen other Republican senators. The legislation was proposed in the wake of pro-Palestine protests that have rocked college campuses across the United States. Police have arrested at least 200 demonstrators at the Manhattan campus of Columbia University since mid-April.

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The protestors initially erected a tent encampment at the Ivy League school, causing final exams to be rescheduled and classes to be held online.

During his term, President Joe Biden authorised different executive acts totaling around $160 billion in student debt forgiveness for roughly 4.6 million borrowers.

According to the Penn Wharton Budget Model at the University of Pennsylvania, Biden’s promises to cancel student loans are expected to come at a staggering cost to taxpayers — $559 billion over the course of 10 years.

Also Read: Evergreen State College in Olympia becomes first US uni to completely divest from Israel

‘No Bailouts for Campus’ supporters blast Hamas sympathisers

In a statement, Arkansas Republican said: “Americans who never went to college or responsibly paid off their debts shouldn’t have to pay off other people’s student loans.”

“They especially shouldn’t have to pay off the loans of Hamas sympathisers shutting down and defacing campuses,” he continued.

Earlier in a post on X, Cotton shared a video of a girl who was taken into custody from the campus.

“The little Gazas on college campuses are cesspools of anti-Semitism and have no place in America. Their presence is solely due to the inaction of left wing administrators and politicians,” he wrote, along with a clip of his interview with Fox News.

One of the bill’s co-sponsors, Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.), stated in a statement that those who sympathises with Hamas and indulges in criminal behavior on college campuses “should be ineligible for student loan bailouts.”

She stressed that there is a need to hold these criminals accountable and make sure taxpayers money isn’t used to settle their debt.

The legislation is being led in the House of Representatives by Representative Brandon Williams (R-NY), who said it is “absurd” that the violent protestors on campuses want respect, amnesty, and food. “Our bicameral bill ensures that not one student protestor convicted of criminal offenses is bailed out by student loan forgiveness. Not one dime of taxpayer money will fund these criminals,” he said in a statement.

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