Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) vowed Tuesday to cancel the bulk of student loan debt on the first day of her presidency via executive action.
Warren made her promise just hours before the Democrat debate in Des Moines, Iowa.
We have a student loan crisis—and we can't afford to wait for Congress to act. I’ve already proposed a student loan debt cancellation plan, and on day one of my presidency, I’ll use existing laws to start providing that debt cancellation immediately. https://t.co/bvhpuQmHH1
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) January 14, 2020
“The Department of Education already has broad legal authority to cancel student debt, and we can’t afford to wait for Congress to act,” Warren wrote in a Medium post, promising to use “existing laws” — citing the Higher Education Act — to implement her student loan debt cancellation plan which will bring relief to 42 million Americans, she claims.
Per her plan:
I’ll direct the Secretary of Education to use their authority to begin to compromise and modify federal student loans consistent with my plan to cancel up to $50,000 in debt for 95 percent of student loan borrowers (about 42 million people).
I’ll also direct the Secretary of Education to use every existing authority available to rein in the for-profit college industry, crack down on predatory student lending, and combat the racial disparities in our higher education system.
Warren announced her $640 billion student college debt relief program in April. Under Warren’s proposal, individuals with a household income of less than $100,000 could see $50,0000 in student debt effectively erased. Americans with household incomes of up to $250,000 would see a reduction in student loan debt relief, but less than those who have smaller household incomes.
The presidential hopeful has repeatedly claimed her “Ultra-Wealth Tax” will cover the cost of her proposals, which include universal child care, universal pre-k, and free college tuition.
Warren touted the proposals during a CNN town hall in New Hampshire last year. She said:
We’re going to roll back student loan debt for about 95 percent of students who have debt. That’s part one. And part two is to make sure that we never get in this mess again on student loan debt and that is to make college universally available with free tuition and fees and to put more money into Pell grants so that students of color, so that our poorest students have real access to college and that we put real money into our historically black colleges and universities.
“The future of our economy and the lives of a generation of student loan borrowers are at risk, and I’m committed to seeing this fight through no matter what,” Warren added in her Medium post.
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) has also issued a plan to address student loan crisis, vowing to “cancel all student debt” and pay for it by “imposing a tax on Wall Street speculation.”