Democrats step up pressure on Biden to write off student loan debt
A group of prominent Democrats on Thursday announced a law calling on President Joe Biden to write off student loan debt using his executive power.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., joined Senator Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., And Representatives Ayanna Pressley, D-Mass., Alma Adams, DN.C., Mondaire Jones, DN.Y., and Ilhan Omar, D-Minn., At a press conference to announce the measure.
The resolution, which is not binding, calls on Biden to use executive action to eliminate up to $ 50,000 in federal student loan debt for all borrowers and to ensure he does not There is no tax liability for borrowers after any administrative debt cancellation. He is also suspending student loan payments and interest for the duration of the pandemic and says the Education Secretary has broad administrative authority to cancel the debt.
Urging him “to be sensitive to the movement that elected him,” Pressley said the resolution had more than 50 co-sponsors in the House, support from both houses of Congress and support from hundreds of grassroots organizations. .
White House press secretary Jen Psaki appeared to throw cold water on the effort later Thursday, telling reporters that while “the president has and continues to support the $ 10,000 cancellation of Federal student loan debt per person in response to the Covid crisis, “all further action should come from Congress.
“He calls on Congress to draft the proposal,” she said, without however specifying what specific measures he would support. “And if it’s adopted and sent to his office, he’ll be anxious to sign it.”
She tweeted later that the White House would also “consider whether there are steps it can take through executive action.”
Democrats and supporters have been pressuring Biden for months to tackle the student loan crisis through executive action. Warren and Schumer introduced a resolution in September that outlined how the president could use the existing authority under the Higher Education Act to write off debt.
“Canceling student loan debt is good for you whether or not you have student loan debt, because it’s good for our economy,” Warren said Thursday. She said forgetting that debt for the 45 million borrowers would increase homeownership, credit scores and job eligibility, among others.
The resolution calls for a more aggressive approach to canceling student loans than what Biden’s team has previously proposed. Biden’s education plan beyond high school released during his presidential campaign was more focused on relieving the burden on future borrowers, although it did offer debt relief for civil servants as well as an income-based payment plan that allowed some low-income borrowers to forgo payments without incurring any debt. ‘interests.
On his first day in office, Biden also signed an executive order extending the suspension of payment of federal student loans owed to Covid-19 until October. He also called on Congress last month to write off $ 10,000 in federal student loan debt per person as a further relief from the coronavirus.
As part of Biden’s campaign plan, borrowers earning more than $ 25,000 would have to make their monthly payment for 20 years to be considered full remission of their remaining balance. Schumer said this approach could lead to wider gaps in racial inequality.
“After 20 years, only 5% of whites have student debt, but 95% of African Americans have debt,” Schumer said. “The wealth gap in America between blacks and whites is one of our biggest problems. One of the best, fastest ways to close a good part of it is to get rid of it. of that $ 50,000 in debt. “