Democrats Call on Biden to ‘Cancel $50,000 of Student Loan Debt’

In this file photo, students graduate during a ceremony held for 3,768 master and 898 doctorates being given out at the Tsinghua University on July 18, 2007 in Beijing, China. (China Photos/Getty Images)
China Photos/Getty Images

More Democrats are calling for President Joe Biden to take sweeping action and cancel a large portion of student loan debt as he continues to issue a series of executive orders on a range of issues.

Although Biden continues to take more executive actions than any of his predecessors in his first weeks in office, he has yet to address student loan debt — an issue central to the platforms of many of his former presidential challengers, including Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA), Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, has continued to press Biden to provide student debt relief.

“@POTUS should cancel $50,000 of student loan debt,” she said Sunday evening, echoing the calls of other progressives pressing Biden to take action:

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-NY) actively encouraged Biden to cancel student debt, as has Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), who said the president’s willingness to cancel up to $10,000 is simply not enough.

“Many won’t fully feel $10k in forgiveness until after a Biden presidency is over, when they’ve spent 10 years paying off the other $20k+ Dems should be championing policy that people can feel ASAP,” she said, stressing the need for Democrats to “go big” on the issue:

Philadelphia’s city council has taken it a step further, collectively calling on the administration to “enact a plan by the end of President Biden’s first 100 days in office to cancel all student loan debt and begin the transition to education as a public good.”

Biden’s remarks at the February CNN town hall surprised many progressives after he dismissed the prospect of unilaterally canceling up to $50,000 in student debt.

“I will not make that happen,” he said of the call, prompting the White House to clarify the administration is continuing to examine ways to eliminate up to $50,000 in student debt:

“He was reiterating his previous stated position, which is that he doesn’t favor $50,000 in student loan relief without limitations,” White House press secretary Jen Psaki clarified, adding that Biden would be “eager” to sign a measure providing $10,000 in student debt relief.

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