Biden promotes ‘life-changing’ student loan relief in Wisconsin as he rallies younger voters

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US President Joe Biden delivers remarks on student loan debt at Madison College on April 8, in Madison, Wisconsin. (AP)

MADISON, Wis, April 9, (AP): US President Joe Biden said Monday that more than 30 million borrowers would see “life-changing” relief from his new plan to ease their student loan debt burdens, a fresh attempt by the Democratic president to follow through on a campaign pledge that could buoy his standing with younger voters.
He detailed the initiative, which has been in the works for months, during a trip to Wisconsin, one of a handful of battleground states that could decide the outcome of Biden’s likely November rematch with Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee.
Biden said he wanted to “give everybody a fair shot” and the “freedom to chase their dreams” as he lamented the rising cost of higher education.
“Even when they work hard and pay their student loans, their debt increases and not diminishes,” he said. “Too many people feel the strain and stress, wondering if they can get married, have their first child, start a family, because even if they get by, they still have this crushing, crushing debt.”
Biden’s trip, which included a stop at a Chicago fundraiser on the way back to Washington, comes a week after primary voting in Wisconsin highlighted political weaknesses for him as he prepares for the general election.
More than 48,000 Democratic voters chose “uninstructed” instead of Biden, more than double his narrow margin of victory in the state in 2020.
Trump also saw a significant number of defections during the state’s primary, with nearly 119,000 Republicans voting for someone other than him.
But Biden’s results, which echoed similar protest votes in states like Michigan and Minnesota, have rattled Democrats who are eager to solidify the coalition that catapulted him into the White House in the first place.
A critical fracture has been the Israel-Hamas war. Younger voters are more likely to disapprove of Biden’s enduring support for Israel’s military operation in Gaza, which has caused heavy casualties among Palestinian civilians.
Concerns about the war have spread throughout the Madison area, said Democratic Rep Mark Pocan, who represents the city. Pocan said he was “surprised to see the intensity on the issue” from all ages of voters, and he wanted Biden to be aware.

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