Story at a glance:

  • President Biden is facing pressure from Democrats who believe that canceling or forgiving up to $50,000 in student loan debt is necessary for the nation's economic growth.
  • Biden is committed to eliminating student debt, but he has guaranteed that only $10,000 can be forgiven.
  • Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer says student debt has an “exacerbated” effect on existing “racial inequality.”

President Biden is facing pressure from fellow Democrats who believe that canceling or forgiving up to $50,000 in student loan debt is necessary for the nation’s growth.

With the pause on paying student loans set to expire in September, it refuels the conversation about loan forgiveness and expanding the date for borrowers to repay their debt until the spring.

As Changing America previously reported, in February top Democrats urged Biden to use his executive authority to cancel up to $50,000 in student loan debt for federal student loan borrowers. 


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While Biden is committed to eliminating student debt, he has only guaranteed that $10,000 can be forgiven, citing that “I am prepared to write off the $10,000 debt but not 50 because I don’t think I have the authority to do it,” he said at a CNN town hall.

However, lawmakers like Democratic Sens. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), alongside House Rep. Ayanna Pressley (D-Mass.), have challenged Biden’s statement, saying the president could indeed cancel $50,000 at a Tuesday hearing.

“We are also continuing to call on President Biden to use his existing legal authority to cancel up to $50,000 of student debt,” Schumer stated. “This pause has actually shown how important canceling student debt is to borrowers and to our economy.”

Schumer points out student debt has an “exacerbated” effect on existing “racial inequality,” and canceling debt would be a step in reversing “decades of economic injustice and racial inequality.”

Warren suggested that the resurgence of payments will make borrowers sacrifice their livelihood.

“About 30 million students will have a bill due in two months,” Warren said. “The size of these payments, for many borrowers, is the size of their rent, their car payments, groceries, child care. That is going to put a lot of people to make hard choices.”

Despite the senators efforts to forgive loans, Adam Looney, a fellow Brookings and professor in the Department of Finance and Executive Director of the Marriner S. Eccles Institute for Economics and Quantitative Analysis, told NBC News that forgiveness does not solve the problem for those who are currently going to college nor in the future.


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Published on Jul 28, 2021