Democrats Pressure Joe Biden to Forgive $50K Student Loan Debt

President Joe Biden speaks about gun violence prevention in the Rose Garden at the White House, Thursday, April 8, 2021, in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
AP Photo/Andrew Harnik

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) pressured President Joe Biden to forgive $50,000 of student loan debt Thursday.

“College, which has always been a ladder up, can now be an anchor that weighs you down because of the enormous amount of student debt that so many have,” Schumer said. “Debt is just up to people’s neck and maybe even worse.”

Schumer seems to be following Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) lead on the initiative, who tweeted on April 12, “I graduated from a state school that cost $50 a semester. That opportunity is simply not out there today. Two out of every three people who go to a state school today have to borrow money to graduate. That is not how we build a future.”

In the House, Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-MA), who is black, also joined calls to forgive loans. “Canceling student debt by executive action is one of the most effective ways President Biden can provide sweeping relief to millions of families while helping to reduce the racial wealth gap and to lay the groundwork for an equitable and just long-term recovery,” she said.

Pressley has also said the “crisis” is a manufactured one. “The student debt crisis is not naturally occurring. This crisis was crafted in these hallowed halls. Policy decisions were made that ensnared generations in the student debt trap,” Pressley testified during a United States Senate Committee hearing on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs which Warren hosted.

According to a study, “Only a quarter of college students born into the bottom half of the income distribution will get a bachelor’s degree by age 24; meanwhile, 90% of those in the top quartile will get their degree.”

Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC) believes “The promise of canceling mass amounts of student loan creates a significant moral hazard,” he said Friday. And “does nothing for the 200 million Americans that do not have student loan debt, and never attended college.”

Burr continued to say canceling student debt will establish a dangerous precedent, whereby future students will expect their loans to be forgiven and will cause injustice to those who have faithfully repaid their loans.

Even so, Pressley argued, “If President Biden is serious about closing the racial wealth gap, then he must use his executive authority to issue broad-based, across the board student debt cancellation.”

Sens. Mitt Romney (R-UT) and Kyrsten Sinema (D-AZ) have introduced a bill to forgive student debt of “low-income” individuals. The legislation proposes that “funds can be used to pay for tuition, books, and other education-related expenses that might otherwise prevent them from attending,” Breitbart News reported.

The discussion of forgiving white, rich kids student debt comes as White House Chief of Staff Ron Klain said of Biden’s initiative:

He asked his secretary of Education, who’s just been on the job a few weeks, once he got on the job to have his department prepare a memo on the president’s legal authority, and hopefully we’ll see that in the next few weeks. And then he’ll look at that legal authority, he’ll look at the policy issues around that, and he’ll make a decision.

White House press secretary Jen Psaki in February also said the administration would request the Justice Department to “conduct a legal review of [Biden’s] authority to act by executive action.”


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