Senator Chuck Schumer, the majority leader, is pressuring President Biden to swiftly take action on plans to cancel $ 50,000 in student loan debt for each borrower, a top progressive priority.
Congress Democrats have called on Mr. Biden to use his executive power to cancel 80 percent of the student loans run by some 36 million borrowers. Many are low-income people, including millions of Black and Hispanic students, who are affected by the epidemic.
Mr. Biden, already in conflict with Republicans over his $ 1.9 trillion coronavirus relief proposal, has thrown his support behind legislation to give $ 10,000 in relief.
He According to Democratic senators familiar with the administration’s position, a quick turnaround is not expected.
Mr Biden continues to support “cancellation of student loans”, White House press secretary, Jane Saki wrote On twitter. “Our team is reviewing whether any steps he can take through executive action and he would welcome the opportunity to sign a bill sent to him by Congress,” he said.
The resolution, which would have no legal effect if passed, called for a repeal for all borrowers, while a previous Democratic resolution limited the program to people with incomes below $ 125,000 per year.
Speaking during a news conference outside the Capitol on Thursday, Mr. Schumer said, “We will not let it end until we complete it, until the debt of $ 50,000 is waived for each student in the country.” Does not happen. “
Most Republicans oppose the move, making it difficult to get through the Senate; And the proposal has its own political dangers because it essentially leaves winners and losers – leaving borrowers who recently paid back their loans and future debt recipients without any relief.
An economic working paper published by the Roosevelt Institute explicitly excludes debt forgiveness in racial-justice terms. Researchers found that the overall percentage of Black households would be higher than that of White households, and the net profit of those households would be far larger.
The legal rationale for the cancellation of debt by executive action rests on the passage of the Higher Education Act of 1965, which empowers the Secretary of Education to “compromise, forgive or issue” federal student loan debt.
In December, Mr. Schumer, who represents New York, and Senator Elizabeth Warren, a Massachusetts Democrat who has pushed the plan for a long time, wrote in a joint op-ed last week that the cancellation of the debt would take place nationwide. “Black and brown families will meet. A better shot at building financial security.”
It was added, “the most effective executive action available to provide a massive impetus to our economy.”