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Wayne Johnson for US Senate
Senate Candidate Wayne Johnson Says: Extend Student Loan Benefit Package
To 12 Months as Part of Coronavirus Recovery; Puts More Than $1.5 Billion into Pockets
Of 1.6 Million Georgia Federal Student Loan Borrowers, $52 Billion Across 44 Million Americans
Macon, Ga. March 25, 2020 – More than 1.6 million Georgians caught in the spiral of federal student loan debt could keep more than $1.5 billion over 12 months to help fight the economic impact of the COVID-19 virus, U.S. Senate candidate Wayne Johnson said today.
Johnson, a national recognized expert in student debt and former Trump administration official with Federal Student Aid, said Congress should extend the financial package to 12 months instead of six. Nationally, extending the relief package to a year of no student loan payments would put $52 billion into the hands of more than 44 million Americans shackled by a broken student loan system, Johnson said.
“Extending the package until March 2021 will put real money into the pockets of regular Georgians,” said Johnson, “and that is cash that can immediately help discussions around the kitchen table about how Georgians impacted by the virus can move forward with their lives.
“Extending the relief to a year will do far more for the senior getting a Social Security check and student loan bill in the same month than a one-time direct payment,” said Johnson. “The same is true for extending to one year the cancelling of tax refund offsets, stopping administrative wage garnishment, and suspending debt collection activities.”
Johnson said on March 14 that the initial action by the Trump administration to stop interest on student loans was not enough, and at that time he called for other actions that were eventually included in the stimulus bill passed Tuesday night. Those included suspending student loan payment, suspending loan interest accumulation, stopping wage garnishments and preventing the IRS from seizing Social Security and tax refunds to pay against student loans.
“The actions are the right ones, but the timeframe is too short,” said Johnson. “The majority of Georgians with student loans are hourly workers, and it may take them some time to return to work once things settle down.”
The conservative Republican from Macon is one of 21 candidates on the ballot for the November special Senate election to fill the final two years of the term of retired Sen. Johnny Isakson. Johnson’s Opportunity Plus plan to end the student loan debt crisis is the only comprehensive plan ever developed to get the federal government out of the student loan business.
“The national response to the coronavirus was never the time to talk about canceling student debt,” said Johnson. “Debt forgiveness is just one part of a real, bipartisan plan. We need to do more than just cancel student loan debt on a piecemeal basis; we need to cancel the Federal student loan program and chart a new course to pay for secondary education in Georgia and around the country.”
About Dr. A. Wayne Johnson
Dr. A. Wayne Johnson is recognized as the preeminent expert on student loan debt in the country and he spent two years inside the Trump administration trying to fix a system he eventually realized was broken beyond repair. Johnson spent more than three decades as an entrepreneur, senior executive and CEO of multiple businesses, both domestic and international, in the consumer finance and customer service support industries. He is a U.S. Army veteran, an Eagle Scout and a product of Georgia’s education system. He holds a PhD in Higher Education Leadership from Mercer University, a Master of Business Administration from Emory University and Bachelor of Arts from Mercer University. He makes his home in Macon, Georgia.