Ro Khanna presses Biden on student loans: ‘If he can suspend interest payments, he can forgive the principal’
Progressive Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calf.) is highlighting calls from the left for President Biden to cancel student loans, saying, “If he can suspend interest payments, he can forgive the principal.”
In a Washington Post op-ed published Monday, Khanna wrote that he took out $100,000 in student loans to attend college and later struggled to make monthly payments.
“I have repaid my loans thanks to promising career opportunities and good fortune, but I understand the anxiety student loan debt causes. I don’t want others who haven’t gotten the same breaks I did to struggle and feel that the American Dream is out of reach,” Khanna wrote in his op-ed. “Millions of Americans who took out student loans and paid them off feel the same way I do. We are not a nation of Scrooges.”
Khanna also wrote in his op-ed that fellow liberal lawmakers Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) have shared plans or introduced legislation to cancel student loans, emphasizing that Biden has the power to do so.
“These are vital steps for our nation, but this is a moment that demands bold action. If he can suspend interest payments, he can forgive the principal,” Khanna wrote. “If he can cancel student debt for some, then he can cancel it for all those in need.”
The Hill reported last week that Biden is planning to move forward with a plan to forgive at least $10,000 of student loan debt per borrower.
The administration announced last month another extension of the coronavirus pandemic moratorium for federal student loan payments and interest growth, with Aug. 31 being the latest deadline for the moratorium.
The moratorium, enacted by former President Trump, has been renewed five times.
The Department of Education also announced last month that thousands of borrowers could see their loans forgiven in an initiative to address continuing issues and failures in federal student loan programs.
A long list of lawmakers and organizations, including the NAACP, have pressed Biden to forgive all federal student loan debt.
“The best way to start the new school year for everyone saddled with crushing student loans would be for Biden to free them of this burden,” Khanna concluded.