Administration

Biden Education Department hires vocal proponent of canceling student debt

The Biden administration has hired a vocal proponent of canceling student debt for a key post in the Education Department.

The Education Department hired Toby Merrill to serve as deputy general counsel in the Office of the General Counsel, the agency said in a statement

Merrill founded and directed the Project on Predatory Student Lending at the Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School.

The projects claims to have represented more than 1 million borrowers, and that its litigation has led to the cancellation of over $2 billion in fraudulent student debts.

Merrill has been outspoken about the government’s ability to cancel student debt.

In January 2020, she co-wrote a letter to then-presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) outlining the legal justification in which the president could cancel up to $50,000 in debt for student loan borrowers without congressional approval. 

Merrill has also openly criticized former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos over how she handled relief designed for defrauded students, Bloomberg reported.

The move comes as progressives push President Biden to cancel student debt, which has become a priority issue for Democratic lawmakers.

Warren is reportedly stalling the confirmation of James Kvaal, Biden’s nominee for the Education Department’s head of higher education policy, in a push for student debt cancellation.

Biden said in February that he wouldn’t cancel up to $50,000 in student loans, and the White House has indicated that he would be willing to forgive up to $10,000 of student loan debt.

Tags Betsy DeVos Education Department Elizabeth Warren Joe Biden

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