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Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., speaks during a Senate hearing on June 22, 2022.
Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., speaks during a Senate hearing on June 22, 2022.Ting Shen / Bloomberg via Getty Images file

Midterm elections roundup: Swing-seat Democrats lukewarm on Biden student loan move

Some Democrats in competitive races criticized Biden's plan to cancel federal student loan debt.

By and

While many Democrats cheered Biden’s student loan relief decision, the reviews have been more mixed among those facing tough elections in the fall.  

Colorado Sen. Michael Bennet said in a statement the program should have been “further targeted” and paid for; Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto said her disagreement lied with the fact it “doesn’t address the root problems that make college unaffordable”; and Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan echoed a similar point — that the move “sends the wrong message to millions of Ohioans without a degree working just as hard to make ends meet.” 

That wasn’t the sentiment from all swing-seat Democrats — some were more supportive, like New Hampshire Sen. Maggie Hassan, who called the plan a “balanced compromise approach,” and Georgia Sen. Raphael Warnock said the plan “will provide long-term benefits for hardworking Georgians of all ages, as well as our economy.” 

It’s a reminder that what may be good politics for President Biden may not always be good politics for his swing-seat allies, particularly as they look to parry attacks the party contributed to a rise in inflation. 

But it’s also worth noting that the disagreement here may give some Democrats a relatively low-stakes opening to break with their party in the hopes of touting their independence.

Elsewhere on the campaign trail…

Pennsylvania Senate: New emails released by the House Select Committee on the Coronavirus Crisis show Republican television doctor Mehmet Oz emailing top Trump administration officials at the start of the pandemic boosting hydroxychloroquine as a Covid treatment

Washington Senate: Republican Tiffany Smiley is launching a new TV buy Thursday, spending $648,000 on the airwaves, per AdImpact. 

Texas governor: Democrat Beto O’Rourke is out with his first two television ads, both on abortion. One warns that “women across Texas are no longer free to make decisions about our own bodies,” while the other features a supposed Republican voter saying “this is a free country, we need a governor who gets that.” 

Colorado 8th District: National Journal delves into the race for Colorado’s new battleground House district

Montana 1st District : The Interior Department’s inspector general wrote in a report released Wednesday that former Trump Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke, the GOP nominee in Montana’s new 1st District, “knowingly provided incorrect, incomplete, and misleading answers” to investigators probing a decision to block a Native American casino. 

Pennsylvania 10th District: GOP Rep. Scott Perry sued the Justice Department, demanding the Justice Department return the data from his personal cell phone that the FBI seized earlier this month. 

Virginia 7th District: Vulnerable Democratic Rep. Abigail Spanberger is hitting the airwaves Friday, spending $289,000 on a new TV ad buy starting Friday and running through Sept. 5, per AdImpact.