WASHINGTON — Iowa Senator Joni Ernst says the student loan bailout is hurting the military’s ability to recruit new soldiers.

“Young people are not being inspired to serve. Frankly, the perks of service are tarnished when this administration attempts to ‘cancel’ everyone’s student loans,” Ernst says.

The Republican from Red Oak says the anti-American rhetoric on campuses and online has also influenced those considering military service. Ernst is a retired National Guard soldier, and made her comments while discussing recruiting with the Secretary of the Navy. “Currently only 23 percent of 17 to 24 year olds are fully qualified to serve,” Ernst says. “Our military if facing a dire recruiting crisis and our service branches must address it.”

Ernst says the Biden Administration’s student loan payoffs haven’t helped. “I’ve had so many of my former soldiers come to me and say, ‘I served multiple deployments overseas for G.I. Bill benefits, for those education benefits, and now others are getting them for not serving,’” Ernst says. “I think it’s absolutely unfair what is going on across the United States today. I think we are wiping away the benefits that we have promised to those that have stepped up and worn the flag of these great United States.”

Ernst says part of the challenge of recruitment that we don’t reward those who serve enough or we give their benefits to others that don’t deserve them.

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