Prominent Democrats are calling on President Joe Biden to authorize the cancellation of up to $50,000 in student loan debt by executive order.
Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York and Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, alongside Massachusetts Rep. Ayanna Pressley, Rep. Alma Adams of North Carolina, Rep. Mondaire Jones of New York and Rep. Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, held a press conference to announce their non-binding resolution.
Pressley urged Biden to “be responsive to the movement that elected him.” The group noted that the resolution has support across both chambers of Congress and the support of hundreds of grassroots organizations.
The resolution — which over four dozen Democratic senators and congress members joined Thursday — calls on the president to eliminate the debt, ensure that borrowers have no tax liability and suspend student loan payments for the duration of the coronavirus pandemic.
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The White House has not indicated it plans to move forward with the ambitious proposal. Press Secretary Jen Psaki said Thursday that President Biden’s plan is “to support cancelling $10,000 of federal student loan debt per person as a response to the COVID crisis.”
However, later Thursday night, Psaki tweeted: “The President continues to support the cancelling of student debt to bring relief to students and families. Our team is reviewing whether there are any steps he can take through executive action and he would welcome the opportunity to sign a bill sent to him by Congress.”
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Warren, who has been one of the highest-profile proponents of cancelling student loan debt in America, said Thursday that “cancelling student loan debt is good for you, whether you have student loan debt or not, because it is good for our economy.”
She maintains that borrowers would benefit from improved credit scores, eligibility for employment and would be more likely to purchase homes. Warren has also frequently noted that more than 40% of borrowers are saddled with debt yet never completed their degrees.
More than two-thirds of the $1.5 trillion in student loan debt is held by women, and the majority of those women are Black.
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