According to Reuters, President Joe Biden will ask the Department of Justice to review his legal authority to cancel student loan debt.
White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters that while Biden does not favor $50,000 in student loan relief without limitation, “once his team is in place at the Justice Department … he will ask them to conduct a legal review of his authority to act by executive action.”
Answering a question at a CNN town hall on Tuesday about how he would enact a $50,000 student debt forgiveness plan, Biden answered “I will not make that happen.”
“My point is: I understand the impact of debt, and it can be debilitating,” Biden assured. “I am prepared to write off the $10,000 debt but not $50 [thousand], because I don’t think I have the authority to do it,” said Biden, who has argued the president doesn’t have unilateral power to cancel student debt, an idea that has gained traction among progressives.
U.S. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer and Senator Elizabeth Warren, on Wednesday called on Biden to cancel $50,000 in federal student loan debt, adding the administration has “broad authority” to provide relief.
“An ocean of student loan debt is holding back 43 million borrowers and disproportionately weighing down Black and Brown Americans. Cancelling $50,000 in federal student loan debt will help close the racial wealth gap, benefit the 40% of borrowers who do not have a college degree, and help stimulate the economy,” they said in a statement.
The president has the legal authority to cancel $50,000 of student loan debt, which will help close the racial wealth gap and benefit the 40% of borrowers who don’t have a college degree. @ChuckSchumer and I will keep calling on the administration to make it happen.
— Elizabeth Warren (@ewarren) February 17, 2021