Senate leader Chuck Schumer, a Democrat from New York, speaks at a press conference on Thursday, February 4, 2021 about student loan debt in front of the US Capitol in Washington.
Al Drago | Bloomberg | Getty Images
Democrats in Congress are increasing their pressure on the Biden administration to cancel up to $ 50,000 in debt for federal student loan borrowers.
On Thursday, a group of lawmakers led by Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer, DN.Y., and Rep. existing authority to ease the financial burden of tens of millions who have student debt. The Democrats argued the move would help narrow the racial wealth gap in the US and inject more money into an economy struggling under the weight of the coronavirus pandemic.
“The student debt crisis has always been a matter of racial and economic justice,” Pressley told reporters on Thursday.
President Joe Biden, who said as a candidate he would forgive up to $ 10,000 in federal student debt, has said he wants Congress to pass the policy. The Democrats standing up for forgiveness are pushing him to take executive action because they could have trouble getting debt cancellation through Congress.
Warren called debt cancellation of up to $ 50,000 “the most effective executive action” Biden can take to “relaunch this economy” and “help close the racial wealth divide.”
Along with Warren, Schumer, and Pressley, at least 14 other senators and 45 representatives signed the resolution tabled on Thursday. The movement has gained momentum as the resolution was only tabled in the Senate during the previous congress.
Schumer said he and Warren have met Biden on the matter and “are putting pressure on the president and his people.”
According to government data, the federal government owed more than $ 1.5 trillion in student debt to approximately 43 million borrowers in the fourth quarter of last year. Forgiveness of up to $ 50,000 in debt could take the burden off as many as 36 million people.
Since the adoption of the CARES law last March, the federal government has paused federal student loan payments and interest accrual to provide relief during the pandemic. The Biden government extended the tolerance through September.
However, the president has not included a debt cancellation in his $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus relief package that the Democrats plan to pass in the coming weeks.
The escalating credit crunch became a focus of the 2020 Democratic presidential primaries, when Warren and Senator Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., Both made debt cancellation a central campaign item. When Biden adopted limited debt cancellation as a campaign policy, it was seen as a victory for Warren and the more progressive members of the party.
Critics of Warren and Sanders’ policies during the campaign said their plans would help most high-earning Americans who have accumulated a ton of debt while getting more than one degree. Democrats hope to address those concerns by capping a maximum of $ 50,000 now.
Schumer and Warren also wrote in a The Washington City Times opinion last month that debt relief would help older Americans as well as younger individuals. They noted that 6.3 million borrowers between the ages of 50 and 64 repay the loans of a loved one.
Subscribe to The Washington City Times on YouTube.