On Thursday, Senators Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Chuck Schumer (D-NY), along with Representatives Ayanna Pressley (MA-07), Ilhan Omar (MN-05), Maxine Waters (CA-43), Alma Adams (NC-12), Jamaal Bowman (NY-16), Mondaire Jones (NY-17) and Ritchie Torres (NY-15) led their colleagues in reintroducing their bicameral resolution outlining a bold plan for President Biden to tackle the student loan debt crisis by using existing authority under the Higher Education Act to cancel up to $50,000 in student loan debt for Federal student loan borrowers.
“The student debt crisis is a racial and economic justice issue,” said Congresswoman Pressley. “With this pandemic worsening daily, we need bold and high impact policies that will match the scale and scope of the crisis and truly offer immediate relief for people—this must include across the board student debt cancellation. President Biden has the legal authority to cancel billions in student debt with the stroke of a pen and he must meet the moment by using that authority, which would not only set us on a path to an equitable recovery, but would also help reduce the racial wealth gap.”
“By cancelling up to $50,000 in federal student loan debt for borrowers, President Biden can take the single most effective executive action available to provide a massive stimulus to our economy, help narrow the racial wealth gap, and lift this impossible burden off of tens of millions of families,” said Senator Warren.
The Biden Administration has said that tackling student loan debt would be a priority, but as of now, have only talked about cancelling up to $10,000 in Federal student loans via Congressional action.
White House press secretary Jen Psaki signaled in a tweet that the administration was considering the proposal, writing that they were “reviewing whether there are any steps he can take through executive action” while reiterating that Mr. Biden would support a Congressional approach.
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.
— Jen Psaki (@PressSec) February 4, 2021
Student loan payments have been paused since March to offer some relief during the ongoing pandemic. Biden extended the pause through September as one of his first orders of business after taking office.