Representative Beto O'Rourke (D-Texas), a Senate candidate for the 2018 midterms, on the campaign trail.
House Representative Beto O’Rourke (D-TX) used a Saturday morning town hall meeting to pitch some interesting solutions regarding how to fix the student loan debt crisis in the United States.
Speaking at the Pearland Independent School District administration building on August 19th, O’Rourke spoke to Texas constituents on why they should vote for him. A member of the U.S. House of Representatives since 2013, O’Rourke announced in March that he would be contesting incumbent Ted Cruz for his senate seat in the 2018 midterm elections.
In addition to a few other speaking points, O’Rourke used the town hall forum to mainly focus on solving the student loan debt crisis. Right before taking the stage at the speaking event, O’Rourke sat down with The Cougar, the official student-run news organization for the University of Houston, to speak about some of his student loan ideas.
When asked about the $1.41 trillion in student loan debt that the U.S. currently faces, O’Rourke used a four-letter expletive to describe the amount of debt. In short, the Texas Congressman said that when speaking about policy, any type of debt that surpasses a trillion is simply a problem.
But, specifically, how did O’Rourke say he was going to lower student loan debt in this country? One of his ideas was that if a student loan borrower returns home to serve his or her community in an area that is struggling, they should immediately have their student loan debt forgiven. Or, O’Rourke proposed that these folks should not even have to accrue student debt to begin with.
Congressman O’Rourke’s next proposal was that if federal student loans and federal education grants are going to be subsidized, then universities and colleges should promise that they will cut the costs of inflation for college costs such as tuition and housing.
Beto O’Rourke also suggested that the American government should follow through on a proposal made by then-President Obama. The idea being that any student’s first two years at any state college or university should be free for the student at an absolute minimum. A state college or university could be any taxpayer-supported institution such as the University of Texas or a community college. O’Rourke believes that while this would be a costly investment for the state, it would be paid back tenfold because of the benefits and potential that come with getting an education from an institution of higher learning.
During the interview, O’Rourke mentioned that he will be campaigning quite hard on college campuses across the state of Texas. He will be making the rounds to schools like Texas Christian University and various community colleges to hear what young Americans want and if there are any ideas he can promote through his office.
When it comes to student loan debt, Representative O’Rourke is certainly not wrong in saying that it is a serious issue facing the U.S. According to The Student Loan Report, the U.S. currently holds $1.41 trillion in student loan debt while the average borrower owes $27,857. Additionally, there are over 44 million student loan borrowers in the United States, or 70 percent of all college students.
Image Copyright © Beto O'Rourke